Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport of champions, as some would say. But just like in many contact sports in the world, concussions are a concern for the athletes who fight for a living.
During a press conference for a recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event in Orlando, fighters like Travis Browne and Miesha Tate mentioned they have cut down on sparring during their training sessions in order to minimize the likelihood of dangerous blows to the head.
“I think you see a trend of fighters starting to cut back on their training, I know I have. I will save the hard blows for the cage,” Browne said.
“Fighter safety is important to everyone. I want to make sure that I am able to talk to my grandkids and live a long healthy life, and we need to make sure our brains are protected,” Tate said.
UFC’s President Dana White also gave his take on the dangers of the sport with Fusion’s AMERICA:
“You don’t have to be a doctor to know that concussions are bad,” White said, adding, “Never in the history of the world did anyone say getting punched in the face is good for you.”
The UFC currently has a three-mandatory suspension policy for fighters after they have suffered a concussion. Before getting back into the cage, these athletes must be cleared by a doctor.
White still acknowledges the risks that MMA athletes put themselves through:
“We know what the outcome is and what the possibilities are but these are grown men and women and this is what they choose to do for a living.”
The full story on MMA and the UFC will air on AMERICA with Jorge Ramos next month.
Credit: Johanna Usma, Alcione Gonzalez