On Love and Violence
The conclusion of Fighting Visibility meditates on the tensions between love and violence in MMA and its largest promotion. Rather than framing MMA as an inherently violent pursuit, the coda upholds consent and mutual respect as essential values that differentiate combat sports from violence. Athletes enter the cage with mutually agreed upon rules when they consent to the competition. They also sign contracts with the UFC in good faith that the promotion will uphold their commitments to its athletes. Thus, the real violence in the UFC is labor practices that violate the trust the athletes place in them while the promotion exploits the fighters’ love for MMA and willingness to labor for the sport’s visibility. Neoliberal labor practices are the central form of violence that should be eradicated in combat sports.
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