Kooivechten. Over ontsporting en commercialisering van het wedstrijdvechten


  • Bottenburg,Maarten van
  • Heilbron,Johan


Sports violence, Sociology of sports, Elias, Norbert, Spectators, Netherlands, Ultimate fighting, Desportization


Ultimate Fighting. On the Desportization and Commercialization of Fighting Contests. Ultimate fighting is a violent and highly controversial fighting genre and its tolerability has been hotly debated in the Netherlands since 1995. Two theoretical issues arising from a 1996 study concerning the origins, recruiting methods, and rules of ultimate fighting are discussed in the framework of Norbert Elias's (1971) notion of sportization: (1) The recent developments in ultimate fighting are interpreted as countermovements of sportization, ie, as desportization, because they are characterized by an increase in the level of violence and the withdrawal of rules and protection against injuries. (2) This desportization is explained in terms of the changing power balance between media/entertainment companies and traditional sports organizations as rule-making and rule-enforcing bodies, which has shifted orientation from the participants to the spectators. It is argued that, lured by cash prizes from media companies that make huge profits on the pay-per-view-market and by the promise of fame among spectators who relish the excitement of danger without personal implications, the fighters take the risks of participating. It is hypothesized that desportization is soon likely to occur in other sports. 1 Photograph. Adapted from the source document.

Biografieën auteurs

Bottenburg,Maarten van