Is participating in MMA fighting sinful?


Hey all at CAF

Well about 2 months ago, I got invited by a new boss of mine who fights professionally
in MMA to start training in MMA myself. After a few weeks of thought, I agreed to it. I have been training for a few weeks now and i gotta say, i am enjoying it.
It is a great, intense workout and helps with stress.

Well about 2 weeks ago, he asked me if i was ready to do my debut fight.
I said yes and now I am on the fight card for next month. There are gonna
be a few other fights that night too and probably about 400 people attending to watch the fight.

My question is: Is participating in MMA sinful?
I know many people may see it as a “bloodsport” but me personally, i see it as just a sport
like football.

Is there any Church teachings against what I’m doing?

Thank you all in advance for your responses
God bless :slight_smile:


Questions you might consider are:

  1. Are you likely to hurt anyone in fighting them.
  2. Could you be needlessly injured?
  3. Do you have any moral qualms about your choice of sport?
  4. Unlike football, is there any other objective to your sport than physically hurting someone else?
    I note that an MMA fighter is up on murder charges for killing an innocent teenager in a drunken rage outside a club in Sydney Australia yesterday. He only hit him once. Be careful for what you wish for in your personal development.


Good response. Thoughtful and morally introspective questions. I say no, not sinful. I find the example incident in Sydney rather capricious. O.J. Simpson, Ray Lewis, Ray Carruth and Aaron Hernandez head the list of nefarious former NFL players prone to murder people. MMA is essentially a combination of boxing and wrestling. The Church approves participation in these sports.


I’m not sure fighting is itself sinful, after all David was pretty good at it. I think most men in church could use a little more toughness in their lives, and training to fight or fighting would certainly provide it.

With that in mind here are a few more questions:
1.Is this bringing you closer to God or further away?
2.Is it good for you? There’s a big difference in training up your body and taking care of it and pounding someone into submission or having someone pound you into submission.
3. Is it good for society? One characterisitc of societies in decline is their sport becomes more brutal, like the gladiators.
4. Do you want to do it or do you just feel like you should because your boss is suggesting it?
5. Are you in you bosses weight class? Not good for the career if you tune your boss in front of 400 people… :wink:


here is a Quote from a Professional Moral Theologian:

“Moralists generally have doubted the morality of professional boxing, of the bull-fighting popular in Hispanic culture, of speed racing, and of various kinds of stunting in which there is serious risk of death or grave bodily injury.”

~ Fr. Benedict Ashley OP

From the work “Living the Truth in Love, a Biblical introduction to Moral Theology” 1996 pg 306 (Alba House).

(Fr. Benedict Ashley was professor of Theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, highly respected author of several text and countless articles on moral theology. A consultant for the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and a senior fellow of the Pope John Center of Medical Ethics. He was honored with the Pro Ecclesia medal from Bl. Pope John Paul II)

(Note Bene the term “professional” regarding boxing there. I imagine moral theologians can discuss any difference between “professional boxing” and other kinds of boxing…but I note this for there are likely various distinctions that can be made theologically…and I do not know enough about what you ask directly)


And again I do not know what exactly is being referred to in MMA fighting…(bloodsport makes me wonder…)

But here is more:

** Bl. Pope John Paul II** (a sportsman) states also:
“… to avoid what might be dangerous or seriously harmful to themselves or to others.”**


Good comments ChurchSoldier. I like your humor as well. The goal/objective/ purpose of MMA competition is to WIN! These athletes understand and appreciate the dangers of physical fighting as a means of conflict resolution and/or the need to feed sadistic desires. Many opposing fighters are friends and often train together. Of the many bouts Ive watched, most fighters hug, shake hands, pat each other on the back and sing each others praises after the fight is decided. But hey I’m Irish! What d’ya expect?


And again I do not know what exactly is being referred to in MMA fighting…(with description like “bloodsport” makes me wonder…)

But here is more:

** Bl. Pope John Paul II** (a sportsman) states also:
“… to avoid what might be dangerous or seriously harmful to themselves or to others.”**


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