Violence in the Stands: 2 Fans Stabbed at UFC 169

Levi Nile@@levinileContributor IIIFebruary 2, 2014

Frank Mir, left, and Alistair Overeem, of the Netherlands, fight during the second round of a UFC 169 heavyweight mixed martial arts bout in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Overeem won by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)
Tim Larsen/Associated Press

According to James Queally of The Star-Ledger, two fans were stabbed during UFC 169, which was held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Neither victim’s wounds were life-threatening, and their identities were not disclosed to the press. Police arrested a Pennsylvania man (Angel Pereira, 36) for the assault.

In fact, there was little information that could be disclosed—not even where the attack took place, save for that it happened somewhere in the stands around 8 p.m.

Fan violence has often had a knee-jerk effect on the public; the idea of being assaulted at a professional sporting event reflects negatively on the sport associated with such acts, and this will not change anytime soon.

But in this piece, the segue was a little obvious; it was noted that just four days prior, the Prudential Center had hosted Super Bowl 48’s Media Day, which occurred without incident.

A media day and an actual sporting event are drastically different animals, but one can see why the association was made in the piece. The owners of the Prudential Center wanted to show that they are associated with big-name events and that such events can still happen safely.

They wanted to provide a positive association with their namesake to counter-balance the negative—and two stabbings at any event are a big negative.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of these unfortunate events is their ripple effect. In this case, the ripples will reach New York and may make the sanctioning of the sport in The Empire State harder than it ever has been.

And as of now, it has been too hard for the UFC or its attorneys to overcome.

Thankfully, the two men were not seriously injured.