Despite the company tag line, the UFC isn’t “as real as it gets.” And life outside of a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight has much greater potential for barbarism. In May, UFC lightweight Bobby Green’s 23-year-old brother Mitchell was murdered in a Rialto drive-by shooting. Three other family members survived the attack. Then on September 28th, his oldest brother was shot three times. Green Tweeted, “Man they just shot my brother.”
The shooting took place in the area of San Bernardino. According to Green, it is “the most gutter city in the world.” And so, he is organizing an event called “The Green Mile,” to raise awareness about crime and gun violence in the area. Green’s name is not only reflected in the event’s name, he is encouraging participants to wear green shirts, rather than colors traditionally worn by local gangs.
According to Fox, citing a New York Times report, the homicide rate in San Bernardino rose 50% in 2012, after the city actually filed for bankruptcy.
Green explained his motivation for the event, saying, “I don’t get why people think it’s cool to take a life. People think this s**t is cool. They think, ‘Oh, I’m a real man, I’m a gangster, because I killed somebody.’ People have their wires crossed. I gotta stand up and do something.” Of course, challenging that deeply embedded violent culture has its risks. Green speculated, “I’m gonna get killed. I understand that. I’m gonna die. But I better stand for something before I do.”
Green is scheduled to fight his fifth UFC fight on November 8th against Edson Barboza. He has won eight straight fights since September 2011.