SINGAPORE - Like many mixed martial arts fans, Will Chope watched Anderson Silva break his leg in brutal fashion at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 168 in Las Vegas last weekend.
Unlike other armchair supporters who flinched when the Brazilian's left shin snapped while kicking middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Chope will not think twice about stepping into the cage this Saturday night in Singapore.
Despite the graphic nature of Silva's injury, American Chope played down the risks involved in one of the world's toughest sports and said it has not deterred him from this weekend's inaugural UFC show at Marina Bay Sands.
"I just think it was unfortunate because people get injured in all sports," said the 23-year-old who goes by the nickname "The Kill" and has taken part in 52 fights over three years across a variety of disciplines.
"You hear about people twisting their knees and spraining their feet all the time so I don't think Silva's injury means MMA is a brutal and violent sport.
"There's so much hype because the slow-motion replay and pictures made it look worse than it actually was."
The 1.93m tall fighter said people should not forget the camaraderie that generally accompanies the fight scene - once the participants have finished kicking, punching and choking each other into submission.
"I think the sportsmanship in MMA is what makes it a sport," outlined the Californian on the sidelines of a UFC open workout at Marina Bay Sands' skating rink yesterday.
"People are so friendly in MMA; when you get hurt, your opponent will visit you in hospital, or they'll share a beer with you after a fight. You seldom see that in other sports."