Peter Gammons is not only one of the best baseball journalists ever, he is one the the best sports writers covering any sport for the last quarter century. Nobody has more insight, more contacts, more intelligent thoughts than Gammons. He knew what a player or team was going to do before they did it, and he knew why they did it. Gammons has had an enlightened opinion about other sports as well, at least until recently.

After the recent UFC PPV earlier this month Gammons ripped into UFC and MMA in general “We cannot call ourselves civilized as long as louts pay to go back to the Dark Ages and see UFC.” Not exactly a statement that can be misinterpreted, nor has he spoken out against a more violent sport like boxing. People with the opinion that MMA is a “Dark Age” sport are in the dark themselves. When compared to the “civilized” sport of boxing, UFC is much safer for the competitors.

Any UFC event is sanctioned by the same state athletic commission that handles all sports. UFC has shorter rounds than boxing, with three or five rounds as compared to the usual twelve in boxing. Where the big difference lies is with the style of battle. Boxing is punching to the head and body, which can quickly lead to brain injury. MMA is a combination of kicks, grappling, punches, and wrestling. You are not going to see many MMA fighters that have a career by just punching. MMA is a safer sport my an almost immeasurable amount.

Every person is entitled to their own opinion on what sports they like or dislike. MMA isn’t for everyone, but violence shouldn’t be a reason if you are familiar with the sport. What astonishes me is how the best sports mind of his time can pass a judgment that isn’t supported by facts.