I feel deeply uncomfortable with violence against another person being a sport. I know technically it's about skill and fitness and whatever, but on a base level it horrifies me.
I am of the same opinion. Particularly with UFC fighting. I don't believe it to be a proper sport at all. More of an excuse to legally beat the shit out of another person.
That's why it's so great! Not to mention the technicality that goes into UFC training is far more intense and impressive than boxing. It takes a much better athlete to do what a UFC fighter does compared to what a boxer does. I do fancy both sports, though. How is boxing a "proper" sport and UFC isn't? You're trying to beat the shit out of the opponent in both. One is just more brutal than the other because the rules allow it. It's the ultimate way to find out who is the better athlete. Who is faster, who is smarter, who is stronger, who has trained harder, and who is more versatile in mixed martial arts.
Opposing opinions about the sport, obviously, but I will say I think partially why UFC gets a bad rep is because of the way the UFC company/network carries itself. They are not nearly as professional as a ppv boxing match. UFC is still developing. It is loud and in your face, and they are trying to attract as many fans as possible with a bunch of ridiculous antics. A lot will change once Dana White gets away from UFC. Shit, even Joe Rogan talks about the bullshit that goes on with the UFC.