Joe Brolly Destroys Irish MMA from the Safety of Fraggle Rock

If you are a man or a woman of a certain vintage you will probably remember the Jim Hensen created Children’s programme Fraggle Rock. 

Quite often the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock were in need of a little wisdom (every episode) and in their desperation quite often turned to Marjory – The Trash Heap. Marjory would impart her episodic wisdom along with with an immortal line that indicated finality and gravitas on the subject at hand.

“The Trash Heap has spoken”

If you know nothing about Mixed Martial Arts and were looking for a little enlightenment, Fear Not! – Just open your Sunday Independent sports supplement for Marjory  -The Trash Heap has indeed , spoken once more.

Last week i set out my defence of MMA and the value it has in a modern society. This week though we need to look a little more closely at other factors at play in the MMA Debate of Brolly’s

In fairness Joe Brolly managed to keep his ego in check until the second paragraph of his absolutely horrific follow up piece in this weeks Sunday Independent.

”  My column last week went viral, with over a million reads on line. It was a genuine response to what i have seen happening to MMA”

The reason it went viral Joe is that the MMA world tuned in and went nuts about it. Nuts in a bad way that is. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good fairy-tale, although fairy-tales at least have a kernel of wisdom in them.

What exactly have you see happening in MMA? – Two weeks and two columns and all we know is that your son and his friends like watching Conor McGregor and the UFC. No facts or research anywhere.

I am surprised at this stage you haven’t contacted Kieran McGeeney for some information. I mean a former GAA icon now heavily involved in the sport should be a good place to go searching for some background right?

Or is he too busy with the vileness and criminality you speak about in the MMA world… its probably balancing his MMA with managing the Armagh Senior Gaelic football team. But I suppose as the saying goes a lie is half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put on its trousers.


The first thing you need to know about Joe Brolly is that he is one of the Sunday Independent Columnist’s whose content is not available online before a certain time on a Sunday. This is because if his content was available on a Sunday Morning it would dramatically affect Sunday Paper Sales.

Joe doesn’t mind pointing out how many clicks (and i suppose advertising revenue he generates) but doesn’t mention that none of those clicks came last Sunday morning. No he would prefer you handover 3 euro to the Sunday Independent first and then click on the article on a Sunday night and express your outrage – when Denis O’Brien has finished collecting all the 3 euros in the country.

The same is true of sports writer Paul Kimmage’s content but at least Kimmage thoroughly researches his articles and they are usually worth 3 euro on their own. I have noted that Kimmage has been eerily quiet on the subject of banning MMA. I wouldn’t take his silence to mean acquiescence with either camp though. Although if i was John Kavanagh instead of asking Brolly down to his gym for a coffee i would invite Paul Kimmage down for a week.

In the Fake News era , Obviously a million hits demanded a response – a follow up – that’s the essence of how Fake News successfully operates. Find an oil well and extract everything.

I’m sure the posse of Online content editors and click counters at the Sunday Independent positively insist on it.

“And Pssst……Joe….this week….no need to bother with ANY factual information. Let selected twitter followers and  selective tweets be your evidence. I can see 2 million hits this week Joe…2 million I tell ya”


If you’re interested in the financial and technological imperative of Fake News and how it operates in today’s media click here for an analysis.

In the Fake News era – Columns are written based on hits not on facts. If an opinion piece strikes oil -slice and dice that opinion for maximum hit efficiency. If one of the casualties of that drone attack is the entire sport of MMA in Ireland. Just call it Collateral damage Joe. Shock and Awe Joe. You have the entire team of Sunday Independent lawyers behind you. And they have Denis O’Brien behind them. A bunch of MMA criminals and druggies don’t stand a chance. Isn’t that the thinking here?

This line actually made me laugh out loud.

” The reaction to what was a SERIOUS OPINION piece vividly illustrates how diseased this ” so-called sport'” has become” – 

A Serious opinion piece about a sport you know nothing about and one which you have no intention of researching or finding out about. John Kavanagh offered an immediate olive branch last week and your instinct was to shit all over it. Egomania at it finest ladies and gentlemen.

Joe ends his piece by informing the commoners of the following

“I have been sounding out influential TDs and Senators in the last week……..I intend to set up a working group to look into the banning of this Barbarism”

There are a number of problems with this line but it’s nice to see Joe is only interested in working with the influential. The un-influential can go fuck themselves. Whether they are Politicians or MMA practioners. The un-influential don’t help in the click business. Why an unelected opinion writer would think to dream up something like this is absolutely bananas. Do influential politicians in this country jump to the sound of Joe’s 1 million clicks? – the sad thing for MMA in Ireland is that they probably do.

The problem with MMA in Ireland is that it DOES actually have a problem. The sport at a professional level, is at the moment driven by various promotions holding MMA events. These promotions are driven for the most part by financial concerns.

Imagine if a club football player was told he had to sell 50 tickets for every match he is appearing in. That in essence is what professional MMA fighters are being asked to do in Ireland and the UK. They are being forced to create a buzz about themselves.

The only free way to do this is by talking shit online with fans and prospective opponents. Writers like Brolly use these tweets as ‘ Evidence’ of the corrupt nature of the sport and the people in it.

Many of the fighters that compete in Mixed Martial Arts come to it from  K1 Kickboxing, Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or a mix of them. When People call for the extermination of MMA they are in essence impacting on the participation numbers in all Martial Arts. Christ they are implying that the individual disciplines should be outlawed.

The Organisation of MMA in Ireland needs to be tackled collectively by the individuals, teams and clubs involved.  Quickly. The ordinary decent men and women that are the true representation of it and it’s values. Before it is too late. Before Marjory and the Fraggles have it buried 6 feet under…….

As part of writing this piece I asked a few decent ordinary MMA practioners to send me their texts explaining their rationale for being involved in the sport and what MMA means to them. To be honest they put it a hell of a lot better than I have to date . All quotes are unedited

Andrew Murphy – Professional MMA Fighter

Ah yeah for sure gerry no problem at all!! I see mma as the decathlon of combat sports. You have to be good in every area. You truly have to embrace getting comfortable being uncomfortable and I’ve found that transcends in to all areas of life. To me it’s much more than a fight style, it’s very much a lifestyle. People fear what they don’t understand, and many looking from the outside such as Joe Brolly just see the fight. What they don’t see is the respect between us as martial artists and athletes and the endless hours of hard work and preparation that goes in to prepping for the fight.

Aidan – Amateur Enthusiast – early 40’s

Amateur mma, 3 fights, didnt start mma until early 40’s. Dunno if this will be of any use to ya, but here goes. Hit my 40’s and realised i needed to do something fitness wise. A mate recommended Rapid Fire mma as a very open and inclusive club so i went along. Loved the training and atmosphere but never thought id fight, but 18 months later i had my 1st outing in the cage and loved it. I was never a fighter in my younger days, quite the opposite tbh, i was bullied, lacked confidence, socially awkward and avoided conflict. Mma gave me more confidence than anything else ever did. I love the family feel to the sport, clubs and esp competition, sitting chatting and laughing with someone who youve spent 15mins fighting 🤣. I get that it isnt ufc, and tbh im only in it for the craic, but to me thats the real sport. The circus that is ufc, how they sell fights off trash talk etc does nothing for the sport, only for the business side of it. Personally, im not codoning Khabibs behaviour, but i can see why it happened, even the quietist dog will bite back if you constantly provoke it. The trash talk and bullshit is presenting the sport in a worse light than any pundit, its gotten outta control and the ufc needs to get its house in order if it wants to represent the sport at its core values.

Jason – K1 Kickboxing

This sport has saved my life man people always say that do but my choices where death or a very long time in prison . Now It’s all I think about and for once I have goals for first time in my life I’m thinking about the future not just to do with the fighting outside the club my life has changed , I have changed I can walk down the streets now with my hood down telling yeah training has taken me from a dark place I didn’t give two fucks about myself let alone anyone else . There was a time where prison was easier then being free and in that life you don’t hear I believe in you or that you can to often . Now I hear these things daily , I’ve got a family now who want to just want the best for me cause of who I am not what I can do or how much I can make for them, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t train . I’ve said it before that I fight to feel some what normal , it makes sense to me i suppose it’s like weither you want sugar in your tea?? We all don’t like or do the same things

Cathal – MMA and Kickboxing

Kickboxing boxing & MMA saved me and made me the man I am today all the work and time put in traveling competing and making new friends for life but the most valuable one I’ve learned is not to give up when you fail but to get up dust it off see we’re you went wrong and try to right it and that goes for anything in life work,sport,family things will go wrong but just learn from it
Hope that helps any other questions feel free to ask


It kept me on the straight and narrow kept me away from drink and partying I’ve competed all over the world in more then 115 fights in kickboxing boxing k1 & MMA

Gary – Pro MMA

MMA provided me with drive and passion and a goal to live towards. And I had 22 pro fights stretched o er 12 years. MMA helped me get out of bed every morning.

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