Here’s an interesting piece that ties together cases of mixed martial arts fighters who’ve been involved in, er – extracurricular violence. I’m not sure if they’re suggestive of a trend. Where a sport is dominated by strong young men there’s always going to be a few with less sense than others and the bulk of them would have been just as unpleasant if they’d been quarterbacks, point guards or garbage collecters. There could be a trend, o’ course, but I’d have to see more and better data to be convinced. The more interesting point is that amateurs may pick up tricks, from bits of training or just what they’ve copied from the tele, and use them on hapless combatants in bar brawls and street fights. That drunken punch-ups are typically inconsequential is down to what rotten brawlers yer average meatheads will be. If they could strap on a chokehold they’d be more dangerous prospects. I see that as being true of thoughtless, spontaneous tussles, though. The thugs and thieves who plot their violence can endanger lives without the slightest training and, indeed, whatever shape they’re in. It only takes a pocket knife.

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