The acts of bullying and physical abuse have intersected with the lives of multiple Mixed Martial Artists, though rather than being the aggressors they were victims and found combat sports as a means of coping with harsh treatment. While UFC lightweight Sam Stout has never suffered either per say, both issues are important to him and he has joined an ever-increasing collective of fighters speaking out on the topic.
Stout explained his stance recently in a conversation with Fightline, summating, “Violence against people who are not willing participants just isn’t right,” while adding, “I think (Mixed Martial Artists) are in a good position to get some attention on those things. We’re in combat sports but we want to make it clear that it’s a sport to us and that we don’t condone violence in other settings.”
The 17-6-1 striker carries the same message over to children enrolled at his gym who are at a prime age for peer pressure and bullying, continuing on the subject, “It’s something that we stress very strongly to the kids that train over at Adrenaline – we have a kids program with 6-12 year old kids (and) that’s something that we make sure we stress at every class. This is a sport and it’s okay to do it inside the gym but once you leave the gym it’s only to be used for self defense and that’s it really. We also teach them to stick up for yourself and to stick up for other people who may not be able to stick up for themselves.”
“Hands of Stone” will put words into action this October at UFC 137 when he faces Dennis Siver. Nine of his total wins have come through striking including a brutal knockout of Yves Edwards last month at UFC 131.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC