Injuries and sometimes death do occur in all sports. I've torn my ACL twice on the field and had to have surgery to repair it. It fucking hurt, but I would hardly call that violent, insofar as it wasn't torn by some guy trying to rip my leg off. You can't possibly watch UFC and declare that those two aren't trying to annihilate each other by any means necessary (yes, within the rules). That's what it takes to win right?
It's not my intention to gloss over anything, and I realize how hard those fighters train and how much skill they possess. There are varying degrees of skill, and the UFC fighters are the best in the world. However, it's still violent. I simply don't understand why fans can't admit that they're into violence. You seem to enjoy the tactics, which I can respect. Much like some (American) football fans actually pay attention to the plays and formations. But I think that far more fans tune in simply to watch somebody get slammed. If either sport were all about tactics, then wouldn't flag football and wrestling be at least marginally more popular sports to watch?
I can also agree that there is probably less long term brain damage done to a MMA fighter than a boxer, simply because he's not getting smacked in the temple thousands of times. Again, that doesn't make the sport any less (or more) violent than cage fighting. Perhaps statistically safer which may indeed be more to your point.
Anyway, I think we've reached an impasse on the point. I'm not advocating a ban on anything. To each, their own. I appreciate your elaboration and best of luck to you!