Jesse Richardson has an inbetween rounds chat with his coach Brian Bird at Rumble in The Cage at Servus Sports Centre in Lethbridge on September 30, 2017.
The Lethbridge public put its stamp of approval on MMA this past weekend.
Rumble in the Cage celebrated their 55th time in the ring this past Friday with first time lineups and local heroes.
The crowd was large and the crowd was fierce, as it sits there in wait for their sport, MMA, to begin after the six month wait.
MMA or Mixed Martial Arts is a form of combat sport, which allows its athletes to grapple and strike each other as part of its rules. MMA is arguably less popular than its veteran combat sport, Boxing.ADVERTISEMENT
Heavy contact sports like the latter, where the head may experience trauma have seen rising backlash as of late with multiple lawsuits and different stories regarding mental and bodily injury being brought against mega corporations like the NFL and NHL.
Most recently it’s come to light that former NFL star and tight end for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez experienced the disease most often associated with this type of trauma, CTE until his death by suicide in April.
CTE or Central Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a brain disease discovered by Doctor Bennet Omalu. Omalu from Nigeria began studying the behavioural patterns of athletes with severe trauma to the head, like enforcement in the NHL and all sorts of contact sports including MMA.
CTE can cause complete switches in mood and attitude as well as extremely violent tendencies later in life, in Hernandez’s case he was responsible for everything from bar brawls to shootings to murder.
Around the world nearly people may lie in uncertainty regarding some of their favorite sports and pastimes, with heat coming from sports like MMA to protect its athletes more thoroughly. But with the 2017-2018 Rumble in the cage fall fights, people shouted with joy and gathered in large crowds to witness both amateur and pro lineups for the fight.
One face not among the crowd was Amateur fighter Jesse Richardson.
Richardson, participating in his first fight exuded a grace not often seen in fighters, agility to hold his own and the perseverance to rival the strongest fighters.
Jesse stands tall in his 135-pound fight against Justin Grey the more experienced of the two. Grey with one win under his belt already, in comparison to Richardson’s zero going into this, his first fight.
Richardson, confident after his first fight and victory against Grey says that fighting was just another sport in addition to his very active lifestyle.
“This is my favorite memory right now, winning my debut. It’s a culmination of all the hard work.”
On the opposite side was Lethbridge native Nader Dleikan, who also debuted on Rumble in the Cages 55th fight night in the amateur lineup.
Although not fortunate enough to win, Dleikan says that he got into fighting for the feeling and the hard work of it all.
“I just always liked it, my family and friends always called me the protector because I was always bigger than everyone. Self-motivation and stuff like that (empowers him) just to get into it.”
The next Rumble in the Cage is typically in April producing “two jam-packed fight cards” each year according to their website.