THE beating is relentless, but the crowd are feral. The damage appears too much to bear, but the fighter and their team are defiant.
The margins of error in deciding when to stop a fight are minuscule. Wave it off too early and the referee risks the wrath of vitriolic fighters, trainers and fans. But leave a drowning man in the water for too long and the rescue could become futile.
From an entertainment perspective here lies the conundrum. For while everyone in the sport wants the competitors to return home safely, we – the fans – equally demand our primal bloodlust be satisfied. And sometimes the balance between which we want more becomes skewed.