According to Recent Cleveland Clinic Study, Mixed Martial Arts Fighters are at Risk for Brain Trauma
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters train extensively to compete against each other but no matter how good their training is, there are still injuries, including ones to the head. Brain trauma is caused by a hit to the head, which is how many fights are ended whether through a knockout or technical knockout. Injuriessustained while fighting can include but are not limited to broken limbs, concussions, and torn ligaments and muscles (Five Facts About MMA and Safety, International Mixed Martial Arts Federation).
Extensive studies are being undertaken to find out the likelihood of brain trauma in MMA along with the incidence rate in fighters: “Preliminary studies from the Cleveland Clinic found athletes with higher exposure to head trauma – based on a formula including number of fights, years fighting and fights per year – were likelier to score lower on cognitive testing. Researchers conducting the free, ongoing assessments of fighters’ brain health are examining factors like genetics, lifestyle or head trauma exposure and susceptibility to injury,” (Study shows MMA brain injury risk higher than boxing: ESPN, March 29, 2014).*
“In a particularly rigorous sport like Mixed Martial Arts, injuries are likely to happen because of their extensive training sessions and demanding physical fitness requirements,” asserts Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer. “When there are hits to the head, there is a likely chance of brain trauma despite the safety measures that are in place. Before undertaking training or entering into sanctioned matches, all fighters should take a look at how an individual own-occupation disability policy will be there for them no matter the injury.”
Fighters are not immune to harm and there has been no shortage of injuries in MMA history. Arms and legs can be broken in seconds when they’re in precarious holds by their opponent. Limbs can be snapped in half when an opponent checks a leg kick. Head injuries in particular can be very severe. Just think about Sakuraba during the PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 after he took strike after strike to his head, compliments of Ricardo Arona’s knee (11 of the Craziest Injuries in MMA History, Bleacher Report, Dec 27, 2012).
“The UFC takes the safety of their fighters very seriously and has a plethora of rules in place no matter if a fighter is training or in a match. Since the UFC takes the health of their fighters so seriously, the fighters should also focus on their welfare by purchasing an individual disability insurance policy to protect their livelihood. I’m sure many competitors have already protected their income with a disability insurance policy but others may not have. I encourage each and every one to get in touch with their insurance agent or a top disability insurance lawyer to discuss the many options available to them. Take the chance to implement a policy now before the last knockout of your career hits when you least expect it,” says Darras.