NY Times article on MMA in the military
Would be interesting to see a military "team" in the UFC.
(I didn't post the whole article - go have a look for the rest)
Ultimate Fighting Recruits Military to Its Ranks
By MICHAEL BRICK
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The United States military is embracing a combat sport commonly called ultimate fighting that a decade ago was called human cockfighting and largely outlawed.
The sport, also known as mixed martial arts and involving disciplines like jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling, adopted safety measures that satisfied most state regulators. It is now soaring in popularity, especially among young men; on Saturday, an event will be broadcast live in prime time on network television for the first time. The armed forces, acknowledging the phenomenon and the suitable demographics, are using the sport not only as a way to build morale and aid in recruiting, but also as a training aid to enhance the skills of soldiers.
To rally the troops, military leaders have welcomed professional fighters with names like Ace and the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. The Army has conducted tournaments among soldiers. In an opinion article for Army Times last year, Maj. Kelly Crigger urged commanders to field a team of fighters on television in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the dominant pro league.
“Many of those viewers are eligible recruits,” Major Crigger wrote. “The U.F.C. provides a great venue to get the Army name into the minds of millions of young Americans.”
Across the service, the embrace of mixed martial arts has come with some reservations. The sport’s emphasis on solitary glory runs counter to the Army’s recent efforts to shift recruiting themes from individual development (Be All That You Can Be; Army of One) to group unity (Army Strong; Go Army).