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VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:41 PM
This is a very thought provoking article that's been making the rounds on a lt of the big MMA news sites. It was a tough read for me because a lot of it, I didn't, & still don't, want to know. However, as intelligent, educated fans, I think it's important for us to thoughfully consider what this man has to say.

It's a long article, so I'm going to break it up into the sub-headings he's already provided. I'll hold off on my comments until some of y'all have had a chance to sound off.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:41 PM
Introduction:


Editor's note: This article, by Ivan Trembow, was re-published with permission. It's something to consider as we are still young in this sport, and perhaps unaware of what fate awaits today's generation of cage fighters.
A few weeks ago, I made the decision that I am no longer going to be watching MMA (or football, or boxing, or kickboxing).

It was very difficult for me to come to this decision, because MMA has not just been my favorite sport for as long as I can remember; it has also been my biggest interest and passion in life for as long as I can remember. The sport of MMA has been what I often go to bed thinking about, it has been what I've written about for years, it has given me something to look forward to during many tough times, and it has been the sport that I've defended to any of my friends or family who oppose it. I know that no longer watching MMA is going to leave a void in my life, and that no longer watching football, boxing, or kickboxing is going to be easy by comparison.

Very few days have gone by over these many years during which I haven't either read about, or written about, or watched MMA, and for good reason: The technique involved in MMA, the fact that a fighter can employ dozens of different strategies and try to go about winning in so many different ways, the fact that all of those strategies have counter-strategies (and those counters have counters), the fact that there are so many different ways to win... These are the things that have always made me feel that MMA is the most exciting sport in the world to watch.

At the same time, I know that I can't watch it anymore, and I'd like to explain what led to my decision to no longer watch the sport that I've loved so much for so many years.

I recently watched a segment on an episode of the HBO newsmagazine "Real Sports" that I had saved on Tivo. The segment was about a peer-reviewed scientific study that links brain injuries such as concussions to ALS (and to syndromes like ALS), which is probably the single worst way for a human being to (slowly and painfully) die.

After watching this segment, I went online and started reading. And reading. And reading. I read about concussions for hours and hours, then for the better part of a couple days. (One of the many, many articles that I found was one on Sherdog.com, written by Dr. Matt Pitt on the subject of brain injuries in MMA (http://www.sherdog.com/news/r/Fistic-Medicine-Dementia-Pugilistica-amp-MMA-22581))

While of course everyone has known for years that concussions are "bad for you" in general, the scientific community has only begun to fully understand the wide scope of the long-term consequences of concussions in the past few years. Studies have recently been conducted on the brains of dead football players, boxers, and pro wrestlers. Many of these athletes lived long enough to finish their careers, but nowhere near a normal life expectancy, and the alarming trend in the studies of these athletes' brains is that they had brain damage that was far worse than anyone suspected or could have imagined.

Specifically, they had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

Some of these athletes had drastic behaviorial changes before their deaths, some of them developed Alzheimer's-like syndromes, some of them developed ALS-like syndromes, some of them killed themselves, and some of them killed others before killing themselves (such as pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who murdered his wife Nancy and his seven-year-old son Daniel before killing himself in 2007).

While these studies have not yet looked at the brains of dead MMA fighters, in part because the sample size of dead athletes in the relatively young sport of MMA hasn't been as large yet, common sense dictates that many of the same findings that these researchers have made about football's effects on the brain later in life, and boxing's effects on the brain later in life, will also apply to MMA.

Yes, MMA is "safer than boxing," but I think I must have been kidding myself to ever think that "safer than boxing" meant "relatively safe," no matter how much the athletic commissions and MMA promoters deny or downplay the long-term brain issues associated with MMA. People in football and boxing made the same denials for many years until the evidence became too overwhelming to deny anymore.

If one uses the threshold that suffering three or more concussions causes an athlete to be much more likely to develop CTE (even though recent research has shown that you don't need to have suffered three concussions to have a greatly increased risk of CTE), what's the percentage of MMA fighters who haven't had three concussions?

Most MMA fighters have been concussed at least that many times, some far more than that. The case of Kazushi Sakuraba (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122598/kazushi-sakuraba) is probably the most sad, grotesque, and heartbreaking (and Sakuraba recently said that he wants to fight for five to ten more years). Yes, that's in Japan, but even in the United States, this country's financially motivated athletic commissions don't seem to think twice about licensing someone like, say, Wanderlei Silva (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122569/wanderlei-silva), who has been knocked out cold several times in official MMA fights and, by his own admission, was knocked out cold numerous additional times during full-contact training sessions at Chute Boxe.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:42 PM
Unconscious MMA Fighters Continuing to Get Punched:

While MMA is safer than boxing overall, there are some ways in which MMA is actually less safe than boxing. One example: While it's true that giving boxers a standing-eight-count to get back to their feet after a knockdown really just enables boxers to take more punishment after they get back up, there is one thing that you rarely see in boxing, but which takes place all the time in MMA and is not even considered anything out of the ordinary: Fighters getting punched in the head repeatedly after they've already been knocked unconscious by a devastating strike to the head.

When an MMA fighter has very clearly knocked his or her opponent unconscious, it is the exception, not the norm, for the fighter to stop like Gerald Harris (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122554/gerald-harris) did after his recent knockout win over Dave Branch.

It's far more common for MMA fighters (like Hector Lombard and many, many others) to continue punching and punching, even after their opponent has very clearly been knocked unconscious, until the referee intervenes, which is often very late.

Sometimes, the fighter even throws one or two more punches after the referee intervenes (as was the case after Quinton Jackson (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122513/quinton-jackson) knocked out Wanderlei Silva), and of course, the "go along to get along" athletic commissions sit on their hands and do nothing about it, not even issuing a small fine just to make the point that you shouldn't keep punching after the referee has intervened.

In addition to the times when it's obvious that a fighter is unconscious, there are also plenty of times when the punches to the head of the already-unconscious fighter are delivered in such rapid-fire fashion that it's impossible to fault the fighter who keeps punching (one example would be Cain Velasquez's knockout of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122498/antonio-rodrigo-nogueira)). In these cases, it's not as if the winning fighters had time to see that their opponents were already unconscious. However, to the losing fighters, the result is the same: Getting punched in the head repeatedly after they've already been knocked unconscious.

Many times (like in the aforementioned Nogueira-Velasquez fight), the knocked-out fighter wakes up very quickly after the punches stop. In these cases, they're usually able to give a post-fight interview with little-to-no ill effects apparent to the viewers at home. It's easy for many MMA fans (myself included) to delude ourselves into thinking that everything is okay in these situations. Two athletes competed, one of them won, one of them lost, and even if one of them got knocked out, they both seem fine now, but unfortunately, that's not the way it works. Many of the horrible symptoms of concussion-related brain damage take years to surface as the deposits of tau proteins in the brain build up over time.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:43 PM
Subconcussive Blows: No Concussions Necessary to Develop CTE
The study on the brain of deceased NFL player Chris Henry showed that you don't even need to have suffered a major concussion to have CTE, because you can also get CTE from many lesser blows to the head. Henry, who died during a domestic dispute in December 2009 at the age of only 26, was never diagnosed with a concussion during his football career, but the post-mortem examination of his brain revealed that he had CTE.

Think of all the times that MMA fighters get "rocked" or "buzzed" or "stung" during fights. An accumulation of these blows (both in fights and in training) can be more than enough to lead to athletes developing CTE and the associated problems that come with it, even if they are fortunate enough to go through their entire career without being knocked out.

The idea that you have to be a grizzled, old veteran of your sport to have CTE is an idea that is disproved by the Chris Henry case, and is further disproved by the recently released study on the brain of college football player Owen Thomas. Thomas, a captain on the University of Pennsylvania's football team, was only 21 years old and was never diagnosed with anything severe enough to be labeled "a concussion" during his football career. Thomas killed himself this past April, and a post-mortem examination of his brain revealed that he had CTE, which doctors believe was from an accumulation of subconcussive, "lesser" blows to the head.

How many MMA fighters have been "buzzed" or "stung" in fights that they've actually won? Too many to count. Sometimes, it's even discussed with a smile in the post-fight interview. There are many examples that I could cite, and one of them is when Rich Franklin said in the post-fight interview that he couldn't remember large portions of his unanimous decision victory against the late Evan Tanner, because he had been "rocked" earlier in the fight.

Many MMA fighters also suffer concussions and/or subconcussive blows to the head in fights that they lose, and they are often allowed to continue fighting even after they clearly should not be. To cite one of many possible examples, was there any doubt in anyone's mind that Jorge Gurgel was in no condition to continue fighting when he got "rocked" immediately after the bell sounded to end Round 1 of his recent fight against K.J. Noons (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122539/k-j-noons)? A glassy-eyed and woozy-looking Gurgel could barely make it back to his corner.

In the sixty seconds between rounds, Gurgel's corner-men, the ringside doctor, and the referee all failed to do their job. They apparently failed to realize that their job at that moment was to look out for the safety of the injured fighter and stop the fight, not to squeeze every last drop of "action" out of Gurgel. Predictably, shortly after the second round started, Noons stunned Gurgel again and won by TKO, but not before the amount of brain trauma suffered by Gurgel had far exceeded what it "needed" to be. Sadly, the case of Gurgel vs. Noons is not an isolated example; it's just one of the most obvious recent examples.

After a fight (or training session) in which a fighter gets "buzzed" or "stung" by subconcussive blows to the head, fighters sometimes have very few symptoms of a head injury. Sometimes, shortly after the offending strike, they have no symptoms whatsoever. Often, they can even pass neurological exams and feel 100% "recovered," while still having suffered brain damage that may only get worse in the years to come as deposits of tau proteins build up in their brains.

Many of the fighters who are suffering concussions or subconcussive blows to the head today, and are at risk for developing CTE, may not experience any of the signs of CTE for many years, giving them a false sense of security in some cases. (How many fighters are able to rationalize anything to themselves by saying, "No matter how many other fighters are suffering from Health Problem X, that's not going to happen to me"?) By the time that any symptoms of CTE become apparent, years' worth of additional brain damage may have been inflicted.

These fighters and their doctors would have no way of knowing for sure if they have CTE while they're alive, because CTE can currently only be diagnosed by removing and examining someone's brain tissue after they have died.

One of the reasons that some athletes who suffer brain injuries later develop CTE, and some don't even if they have suffered the same number of brain injuries, is genetic. In 70% of the brains that they have studied, doctors at the Brain Injury Research Institute (http://www.braininjuryresearchinstitute.org/) have found a gene that is believed to be a precursor gene. As is the case with many diseases, this indicates that some people are more susceptible to developing CTE if they are exposed to risk factors such as a brain injury, and some people are less susceptible.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:43 PM
Fighters Who Have Been Reduced to Shells of their Former Selves
There are countless fighters in MMA who have been reduced to shells of their former selves when it comes to their in-ring (or in-cage) performances, in part because they have taken so much punishment to the head over the years. In some cases, while these fighters' situations are still viewed as sad, many MMA fans (myself included) have been able to rationalize this in the past by saying, "Well, they're in their late 30s or 40s," which is generally considered "old" in sports. But in addition to the fact that being in one's late 30s or 40s is not "old" in life, many of these fighters don't even meet the sports definition of "old."

To name just a few examples: Jens Pulver is 35 (and though his recent losses have come by submission, he has gotten knocked down or "rocked" shortly before the submission in most of those fights). Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is 34 (though an accident during his childhood may have accelerated his decline a couple of decades later). Keith Jardine is 34 (and he recently said that he had the "worst migraine in the world" and was "in a bad situation" before and during his fight against Trevor Prangley, but he fought anyway). Wanderlei Silva is 34 (and, in addition to the fact that he has been knocked out numerous times, he has lost five of his last seven fights). Andrei Arlovski is just 31 (and, in addition to the fact that he has lost his last three fights, he has been knocked out six times during his career).

I could list many more MMA fighters who have been reduced to shells of their former selves in the ring/cage; I have only listed fighters who are 35 years old or younger to illustrate the point that a fighter doesn't even have to be considered "old" by sports standards in order to fit that description.

Like athletes in other sports, all too many MMA fighters on the tail end of their careers don't know when the time has come for them to retire from the sport, and there's always one promoter or another who is still willing to book them (and many athletic commissions who are willing to license them).

In sports that don't involve brain injuries as an inherent part of the sport, staying around for too long in search of the next moment of glory, or the next adrenaline rush, or simply the next paycheck, can lead to athletes getting embarrassed or having their legacies diminished in some way.

In sports that do involve brain injuries as an inherent part of the sport, such as MMA, boxing, and football, staying around for too long in search of the next mega-dose of adrenaline can also lead to athletes significantly worsening the brain damage that they've already suffered.

Some MMA fighters (like Chuck Liddell) have taken so much punishment to the head that they actually speak differently than they used to. One of the biggest examples of slurred speech in boxing in the past several years is, ironically, James Toney, whose speech is so slurred that he sounds nothing like he did when he was younger. When Toney recently entered the world of mixed martial arts, this exposed MMA fans, writers, and fighters to Toney's badly slurred speech, which is something that they might not have previously been aware of.

Sadly, when it comes to how most people reacted to this, there seemed to be more people who thought it was funny that Toney needed subtitles than there were people who wondered why a fighter with such badly slurred speech was still being licensed to fight in MMA, boxing, or any other combat sport.

These are just some of the examples that I could cite, and these examples only include fighters from fairly well-known MMA promotions. Undoubtedly, there are countless other fighters that I have never heard of, fighting on small MMA shows, who could also be accurately described as shells of their former selves in the ring or cage.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:44 PM
MMA Fighter Suicides

Sadly, many of the times that we hear about these fighters in smaller MMA promotions are when something horrible happens, such as when a fighter dies from brain injuries suffered in a specific fight (like Sam Vasquez in 2007 and Michael Kirkham in 2010), or when a fighter commits suicide.

Both CTE and Alzheimer's disease involve tau protein deposits in the brain. These deposits affect different parts of the brain in people with CTE than they affect in people with Alzheimer's, although CTE can end up leading to many of the same symptoms, such as severe memory loss and other aspects of dementia.

Due to the parts of the brain that are affected, two of the problems faced by people with CTE are severe depression and decreased impulse control. If the combination of severe depression and decreased impulse control sounds dangerous, it should, as this deadly combination may have contributed to the suicides of football players and boxers.

While doctors have not yet tested the brains of dead MMA fighters to look for CTE, a troubling number of MMA fighters have commited suicide in recent years, and several more have attempted suicide. The actual numbers may be higher because this is just what I could find in a Google search, but these are the minimum numbers.

Since 2006, at least six MMA fighters have committed suicide, and three of those MMA fighters are believed by police to have killed someone else before they killed themselves. Additionally, three other MMA fighters have attempted suicide during the same time period.

The six MMA fighters who have committed suicide in the past four years are Shelby Walker in 2006; Jeremy Williams and Justin Levens in 2007; Cliff Moore in 2008; and Bobby Suggs and Kenny Trevino in 2010.

When the subject of MMA fighters committing suicide has been raised on the Internet, an all-too-common reaction is something to the effect of, "Well, those fighters weren't on the biggest MMA shows," as if that somehow changes the fact that these people were professional MMA fighters, and that they were human beings who had families (as did their victims in the murder-suicide cases).

In the case of Justin Levens, police say that he killed his wife, Sarah McLean-Levens, shortly before killing himself in 2007.

In the case of Bobby Suggs, police say that he killed his ex-girlfriend, Amber Zavala, shortly before killing himself earlier this year.

In the case of Kenny Trevino, both Trevino and his ex-girlfriend, Tiffanie Perry, were found dead in an apartment earlier this month. Their deaths are still being investigated, but police have indicated that Trevino was despondent and suicidal over his recent break-up, and that they are treating the case as a murder-suicide.

The MMA fighters who have had suicide attempts since 2006 are Andrei Arlovski, Mike Guymon (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122616/mike-guymon), and Junie Browning (http://www.ivansblog.com/2009/10/more-bad-than-good-at-dream-11-in-japan.html).

How many of these MMA fighters who killed themselves or others had CTE? There's no way to know for sure, because post-mortem testing on their brain tissue was not done by the Brain Injury Research Institute (http://www.braininjuryresearchinstitute.org/), or by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University (http://www.bu.edu/cste/), the two organizations that have been at the forefront of CTE-related research. But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those fighters who had CTE is zero.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:44 PM
Painkiller Abuse in MMA
The issues with brain injuries have added to concerns that I've had for a long time about the problem of painkiller abuse in MMA, especially given the fact that the decreased impulse control that is associated with CTE is believed to make athletes who have CTE more likely to become addicted to a variety of substances.

A large percentage of the people that I grew up watching in pro wrestling have died prematurely, and while many of the published autopsy reports noted street drugs or steroids as a primary or secondary factor in their deaths, the single biggest killer of pro wrestlers over the years (as noted on autopsy reports) has been the abuse of painkillers, which is also a growing problem in MMA.

In most of the biggest MMA promotions, if you get injured during a fight, the promotion will pay for your medical expenses as a result of that injury. However, if you get injured during training camp, you are on your own financially with those injuries. Furthermore, since your paycheck as a fighter comes when you fight, it sets up a system in which you are essentially encouraged to go into fights with training injuries, because you need that next paycheck unless you're one of the few fighters like Brock Lesnar (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122494/brock-lesnar) or Chuck Liddell with millions of dollars in the bank.

Continuing to train through injuries is something that goes hand in hand with painkiller abuse, as does going through with fights while injured, which is why there are more and more MMA fighters who have problems with painkillers.

Taking into account the fact that the vast majority of painkiller abusers are going to try to keep it hidden and are going to be reluctant going to admit to it publicly, just think of all the MMA fighters who have publicly admitted to abusing painkillers: Frank Mir (http://www.sbnation.com/mma/fighter/122495/frank-mir), Joe Riggs, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Don Frye, and Mark Kerr, to name a few.

Then there are the MMA fighters who have denied it publicly, but whose friends, family, coaches, or training partners have discussed their issues with painkiller abuse, like Paulo Filho and Karo Parisyan (http://fiveouncesofpain.com/2009/11/19/neil-melanson-karo-is-suffering-right-now/).

Then there are the MMA fighters who abused painkillers in their pro wrestling days, like Brock Lesnar, who has said that he used to eat prescription pain pills like they were candy.

Again, logic dictates that these fighters represent a small fraction of the fighters who have actually abused painkillers.

VCURamFan
09-27-2010, 04:46 PM
A Recipe for Disaster

As I said at the beginning of this post, I have loved MMA for as long as I can remember.

However, the facts remain that when you combine the issue of painkiller abuse in MMA with the lack of collective bargaining, medical insurance, pension plans, or any athletic commissions that have the ability (or the desire) to conduct drug testing that is even remotely close to the standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and you combine all of that with the avalanche of emerging science about concussions, CTE, Alzheimer's-like syndromes, and even ALS-like syndromes, it adds up to a recipe for disaster in the years to come, and I just can't watch it anymore.

At the same time, I want to make it clear that I have still have a great deal of respect for the fighters who put their lives on the line by competing in MMA. I'm also not trying to act like I'm taking a moral high ground and looking down on anyone who watches MMA and continues to watch MMA in the future. I'm just saying that for me, personally, I can't continue to watch it.

J.B.
09-27-2010, 05:01 PM
It's a good read, but none of what he is saying should come as much of a surprise. It's a dangerous sport, and no matter what kind of testing gets put in place you are going to have problems with athletes who abuse drugs and suffer from depression.

I agree with him that reform is needed in many areas of the sport, but a CBA is not gonna happen without a union, and that's not something that is easily achieved. It took the NFLPA 12 years after it's formation to get formally recognized and get a CBA, and it's still a fight to this day (we may not even have football at the start of next season). It's the same story with all the players unions in football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Boxing has already been down this road, and I've said for a long time that MMA is destined to travel the same path. If that's something he can't support, that's obviously his decision to make, but I find it a little dramatic.

TexasRN
09-27-2010, 05:30 PM
Brain injuries suck. However, I think it's unfair to blame all or even most of the suicides and suicide attempts on brain injuries though. Take Junie Browning, for example, since he was used as a suicide attempt example in the article. That kid is messed up emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Even if he had never once in his life had any blow to his head, he would very likely have tried to commit suicide anyway. He had severe psychological damage as a child. That also goes for a lot of the fighters and is one of the reasons they get into MMA in the first place.

I can respect the author of the article for his opinion and the research he has done on the topic and while I agree that brain injuries are bad and that we need to take them seriously, I am not going to stop watching the sports I love. I wouldn't mind seeing more studies done on this or more oversight by a medical review committee.

I do not want the sports listed in his article to be stopped or to lose viewers. The athletes who compete in these sports do it because they love it and because they are good at it. I happen to be a good nurse. Is it dangerous? Yes. And I still do it every day. :laugh:

~Amy

County Mike
09-27-2010, 05:31 PM
I've had 7 or 8 concussions in my lifetime and I'm fine and I'm ok.

Boomer
09-27-2010, 09:09 PM
I've had many concussions from military training .... I believe generally that MMA is a safe sport ... but the element of danger is what also makes it exciting. No one is forcing this lifestyle on anyone .. it's a choice. I admit that when matt fights I'm a wreck, because he is much more than just a personality to me ... but I also respect his decision to compete. Same with when I go off to war .. people don't like it but it's how I feel alive and appreciated. I know some wouldn't compare the two because one is for entertainment and one is not ... but really same general principal of how one drives a sense of worth or accomplishment.

On a side note I really don't think this was a well written article. The examples and over all flow were pretty weak. I also would bet he wasn't much of an MMA fan. His opening remarks to gain "credibility" with the target audience is not really consistent with the rest of the way his thoughts and points are structured.

logrus
09-27-2010, 09:23 PM
I've had 7 or 8 concussions in my lifetime and I'm fine and I'm ok.

Hate to tell you this bro but your nowhere close to being ok.. but hey thats not a had things lol. :laugh:

All joking a side I have had 2 concussions, the one was not so bad, very mild. The second one was pretty bad, I blacked out for a moment and when I got up I had practically no strength to even stand.

cubsfan47
09-28-2010, 12:10 PM
I've had many concussions from military training .... I believe generally that MMA is a safe sport ... but the element of danger is what also makes it exciting. No one is forcing this lifestyle on anyone .. it's a choice. I admit that when matt fights I'm a wreck, because he is much more than just a personality to me ... but I also respect his decision to compete. Same with when I go off to war .. people don't like it but it's how I feel alive and appreciated. I know some wouldn't compare the two because one is for entertainment and one is not ... but really same general principal of how one drives a sense of worth or accomplishment.

On a side note I really don't think this was a well written article. The examples and over all flow were pretty weak. I also would bet he wasn't much of an MMA fan. His opening remarks to gain "credibility" with the target audience is not really consistent with the rest of the way his thoughts and points are structured.

I am with Boomtown on this one. Especially the last part. The sentiments may be real, but something about the tone of that essay says "fake" to me.
The question I would ask the writer is this: why be a drama queen about this? I am just naturally suspicious I guess.

What Matt and the other fighters do is risky; that's why I respect them so much.

Two years ago I had a concussion. It has left me with some lingering problems. How did I get it. I slipped on my kitchen floor. So stay out of the kitchen folks.:)

County Mike
09-28-2010, 12:27 PM
So stay out of the kitchen folks.:)

Unless you're a woman. In that case, go make me a sammich!

Tyburn
09-28-2010, 08:04 PM
Whats his point :huh:

You know I REALLY hate people who make a martyre of themselves. Lets face it, what difference will him watching, or not watching, the sport have on these ailments in the later life of MMA fighters? the answer is ZERO

We all die of something...living is going to leave us predisposed to all kinds of ailments. When you eat a take-away you put your life and future helath in the ballence. When you cross a road, you take your life into your own hands.

What a load of twoddle. This kind of ejit...and i'd love to see his many writings he claims to do every day on the subject....really irks me.

ufcfan2
09-28-2010, 08:31 PM
I've never had a concussion and don't want one,I'm a complete wuss when I just get a small headache:wacko:

Tyburn
09-28-2010, 10:20 PM
I've never had a concussion and don't want one,I'm a complete wuss when I just get a small headache:wacko:

:laugh:

Forget a concussion...the first time I ever suffered a Migraine I thought I was going to die.

I dont get them very often...and I've never discovered the trigger...The first time I was working for greggs the baker..and it started on my left wrist. Suddenly, all the feeling in the wrist was gone. the whole wrist completely numb....then...the numbness started to creep up the arm...:scared0015: it was one of the slowest advances, maybe coz it was the first time, or maybe coz it started to so low....by the time it got to my shoulder it became difficult to move my arm.

But it didnt stop...the numbness crept over my shoulder, and the whole of my neck was basically paralysed...my speech began to slurr...and then, it got to my face, and when it got to my eyes, I began to go blind...but not blind like blackness...but a bright fuzzyness in the centre...The peripheral vision was fine.

Then BOOM, the headache hit and I could bearly stand up. The whole process took around four hours, by which time I was home. I went to bed, wondering if I would ever wake up.

:laugh:

I Did...and the symptoms had vanished :blink:

Now, I know what it is, I dont worry. infact I work through it. I know, when I sleep it will dissapate. Eversince its been much quicker...usually the first I'm aware of the numbness is when the whole arm goes down....always my right hand side...never my left...always right arm, to throat, to eyes. and sometimes from there to eyes might be less then an hour...but the headache may take some time to develope from then. Sometimes...I bearly have a headache at all...it gets to the eyes and then dissapears...but I've NEVER had the headache without the numbness first....its not like a normal headache...it feels very, very different.

My Sister gets them, and she is much worse, she has maybe one a year, and she has to go right to bed the SECOND she feels ANY numbness, and the room has to be black as pitch, or she is puking up...and it can take her maybe a weekend to recover, during which, if she tries to power through, she cant control what she says...or writes...and worse, she is aware of whats going on. The first time she had it, she was at school, and she was writing...and became aware that she was writing shyte...pure abstract words and phrases and she knew what she wanted to write, but couldnt make it happen...

now THATS frightening!

Its also a distinctive numbness...like...there is pins and needles numbness...and there is litterally NO sensation numbness. If you have to touch the area to know...then its nothing...you just know when it happens....and its always a shock. I remember when I was sitting in the staff canteen eating potatoes...and I suddenly realized it was going on. Dropped the plate ahahahaha

Boomer
09-29-2010, 02:17 AM
Whats his point :huh:

You know I REALLY hate people who make a martyre of themselves. Lets face it, what difference will him watching, or not watching, the sport have on these ailments in the later life of MMA fighters? the answer is ZERO

We all die of something...living is going to leave us predisposed to all kinds of ailments. When you eat a take-away you put your life and future helath in the ballence. When you cross a road, you take your life into your own hands.

What a load of twoddle. This kind of ejit...and i'd love to see his many writings he claims to do every day on the subject....really irks me.

:scared0011: I agree with you ... :scared0011:

:laugh: :laugh:

Rochambeau
09-29-2010, 03:01 AM
I am aware of this sort of thing and it is bad. I'd say that there are countless fighters (and athletes in general) going through daily emotional struggles. There'd be so many fighters combating their emotional problems by fighting.

If you're a fan of sport or an athlete yourself, you're probably going to be aware that brain injury can happen very easily and you're probably not going to expect anything to happen to yourself, but you do know that it can happen.

I know a little about substance abuse and it does have an effect on people. It rewires your brain, it changes the way you think and it can really bring out the demon. I think just being an athlete can have a similar effect.

cds
10-02-2010, 04:36 PM
Ive said this to family and friends countless times.

No professional sport of any content(meaning excitement)is exempt from danger and or the possibility of loss of life....and usually the more exciting sports also carry a greater chance of mortal injury.

Also keep in mind that these sports are jobs....period. Is the policeman at risk of mortal injury......fireman......construction worker....truck driver....pilot....ect. All of these jobs carry a much higher degree of risk than MMA.

To put it simply(as Dave did), life in itself is dangerous.

Neezar
10-03-2010, 03:46 AM
Whats his point :huh:

You know I REALLY hate people who make a martyre of themselves. Lets face it, what difference will him watching, or not watching, the sport have on these ailments in the later life of MMA fighters? the answer is ZERO



Dave, how is writing an article making a martyr of yourself? :rolleyes:
And I believe his intention of the article is to provide information and his NOT watching is not participating in something he has decided not to support, same as you not participating in Halloween. And I don't think he has any false ideas that he will make a difference in the ailments that the sport causes. :laugh:



We all die of something...living is going to leave us predisposed to all kinds of ailments. When you eat a take-away you put your life and future helath in the ballence. When you cross a road, you take your life into your own hands.


Yes, but the odds that you will die from crossing the road is lot less than the odds of taking on brain damage from fighting.....unless you are crossing the road on the autobahn with your eyes closed.

Tyburn
10-03-2010, 02:45 PM
1)Dave, how is writing an article making a martyr of yourself? :rolleyes:
And I believe his intention of the article is to provide information and his NOT watching is not participating in something he has decided not to support, same as you not participating in Halloween. And I don't think he has any false ideas that he will make a difference in the ailments that the sport causes. :laugh:





2) Yes, but the odds that you will die from crossing the road is lot less than the odds of taking on brain damage from fighting.....unless you are crossing the road on the autobahn with your eyes closed.

1) he's a nut case if he expects us to believe that he loved MMA so much it was on his mind 24/7 and he wrote about it constantly...and didnt realize people could suffer serious long term health problems from contact sports :blink: If he was trying to educate, then thats one thing...but what is his purpose?? to tell us fighters might get hurt?? He stops watching it...for what reason...with the intention of making the rest of the world do what?? I educate people about the dangers of Halloween because a lot of people seriously do no know anything about the festivals history...I hope that people will think twice about celebrating it. I have a purpose, and I aint just stateing the obvious.

2) You've missed my point. Life is dangerous...and everything you do is potentially lethal...you only need to look at the stupid people who say "a glass of wine a day causes heart attacks" next week the same people say "a fry up in the morning is good for your metabolism" the fact is...no matter what you eat, you will benefit somethings, and put yourself in danger of receving other things. Supposing you work everyday lift heavy boxes...you might damage your back...over the fifteen years you work for the company you will surely damage it a little...does that mean we should all boycott the company?? because thats a very similar stance to the one the fool in the artical has taken.

Fighters choose to fight, they like to fight, might they get hurt? of course they bloody well might...but its a job like any other...its made, by rules as safe as possible, just like being a policeman, or working in the military, or being a fireman...or eating a fry up everyday...or not looking where you are going when walking across the street. Its no different.

But the one thing he does make himself look like, is some kinda pseudo-moralist. He claims to love the sport, but will abandon it, for his deep belief that its dangerous...implying that we are sods for supporting it, and fighters are dumbass for doing it. The way you can tell he's a fraud is because he doesnt plan on doing any bloody thing about it.

IF...IF he really loved MMA, and really believed what he was saying...shouldnt he make it his duty to STOP these promotions from doing harm to athletes? Should he not form a lobby group that can stand outside the venues and give out information in the form of leaflets to the public to warn them of what Fighters face in terms of future health prospects??

He's a ****ing liar, a bloody fraud, and a self righteous, pompous twat without the guts to do anything about it.

:)

Neezar
10-03-2010, 03:31 PM
1) he's a nut case if he expects us to believe that he loved MMA so much it was on his mind 24/7 and he wrote about it constantly...and didnt realize people could suffer serious long term health problems from contact sports :blink: If he was trying to educate, then thats one thing...but what is his purpose?? to tell us fighters might get hurt?? He stops watching it...for what reason...with the intention of making the rest of the world do what?? I educate people about the dangers of Halloween because a lot of people seriously do no know anything about the festivals history...I hope that people will think twice about celebrating it. I have a purpose, and I aint just stateing the obvious.

2) You've missed my point. Life is dangerous...and everything you do is potentially lethal...you only need to look at the stupid people who say "a glass of wine a day causes heart attacks" next week the same people say "a fry up in the morning is good for your metabolism" the fact is...no matter what you eat, you will benefit somethings, and put yourself in danger of receving other things. Supposing you work everyday lift heavy boxes...you might damage your back...over the fifteen years you work for the company you will surely damage it a little...does that mean we should all boycott the company?? because thats a very similar stance to the one the fool in the artical has taken.

Fighters choose to fight, they like to fight, might they get hurt? of course they bloody well might...but its a job like any other...its made, by rules as safe as possible, just like being a policeman, or working in the military, or being a fireman...or eating a fry up everyday...or not looking where you are going when walking across the street. Its no different.

But the one thing he does make himself look like, is some kinda pseudo-moralist. He claims to love the sport, but will abandon it, for his deep belief that its dangerous...implying that we are sods for supporting it, and fighters are dumbass for doing it. The way you can tell he's a fraud is because he doesnt plan on doing any bloody thing about it.

IF...IF he really loved MMA, and really believed what he was saying...shouldnt he make it his duty to STOP these promotions from doing harm to athletes? Should he not form a lobby group that can stand outside the venues and give out information in the form of leaflets to the public to warn them of what Fighters face in terms of future health prospects??

He's a ****ing liar, a bloody fraud, and a self righteous, pompous twat without the guts to do anything about it.

:)

I disagree.

I think you are the one a little off your rocker by taking the possibility of accidents and comparing it to the probability of brain injury in fighting. It is an illogical comparison and your whole argument strikes me as being the pompous self-serving twat that you are accusing him of being.

Tyburn
10-03-2010, 03:55 PM
your whole argument strikes me as being the pompous self-serving twat that you are accusing him of being.

At least I know who I am :wink:

:laugh:

Blade
10-03-2010, 09:48 PM
He's a self righteous, pompous twat
:)

:scratchchin:

Spiritwalker
10-03-2010, 10:16 PM
:scratchchin:

Agreed!

Spiritwalker
10-03-2010, 10:27 PM
How many of these MMA fighters who killed themselves or others had CTE? There's no way to know for sure, because post-mortem testing on their brain tissue was not done by the Brain Injury Research Institute, or by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University, the two organizations that have been at the forefront of CTE-related research. But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those fighters who had CTE is zero.

I disagree with ALOT of this. But what ticks me of about this "article" is that he talks about many things.. and tries to tie it all together.. and does it badly.

How many people commit suicide that don't have a brain injury. And how many people a should have their brains check for CTE... and CTE isn't present on everyone that commits suicide.. just taking too many jumps in logic.

Neezar
10-04-2010, 11:13 AM
I disagree with ALOT of this. But what ticks me of about this "article" is that he talks about many things.. and tries to tie it all together.. and does it badly.

How many people commit suicide that don't have a brain injury. And how many people a should have their brains check for CTE... and CTE isn't present on everyone that commits suicide.. just taking too many jumps in logic.

At NO time in that article did I get the impression that he was trying to tie ALL suicides in to CTE. I think he has a valid question. I would be curious to know also. These recent MMA suicides: did they have CTE? And could it have been a factor leading to suicide?

Spiritwalker
10-04-2010, 11:33 AM
At NO time in that article did I get the impression that he was trying to tie ALL suicides in to CTE. I think he has a valid question. I would be curious to know also. These recent MMA suicides: did they have CTE? And could it have been a factor leading to suicide?

what about the several member of the armed forces that just commited sucide? Did they? What about all the kids that have killed themselves over bullying/inattentive parents/just being "messed up" kids? did they have CTE??

Buzzard
10-05-2010, 02:37 AM
I disagree.

I think you are the one a little off your rocker by taking the possibility of accidents and comparing it to the probability of brain injury in fighting. It is an illogical comparison and your whole argument strikes me as being the pompous self-serving twat that you are accusing him of being.

I fully agree with you on this. At least the guy writing the article has the basic skills in grammar and spelling.:laugh::ninja:

Neezar
10-05-2010, 11:29 AM
I fully agree with you on this. At least the guy writing the article has the basic skills in grammar and spelling.:laugh::ninja:

:laugh:

Neezar
10-05-2010, 11:33 AM
what about the several member of the armed forces that just commited sucide? Did they? What about all the kids that have killed themselves over bullying/inattentive parents/just being "messed up" kids? did they have CTE??

If that member of the armed forces is recieving blows to the head more often than your average joe then I think he could be considered in the research also. Same goes for the kids that you mentioned, are they taking on head trauma? What about that article makes you think that he is implying that ALL suicides may be linked to CTE? :laugh: We all know that certain medications make you more at risk for suicide. Does that mean that all people who commit suicide are taking those meds? No. It doesn't. lol. So what is your point?

J.B.
10-05-2010, 04:16 PM
I've had 7 or 8 concussions in my lifetime and I'm fine and I'm ok.

/thread

Spiritwalker
10-05-2010, 05:37 PM
If that member of the armed forces is recieving blows to the head more often than your average joe then I think he could be considered in the research also. Same goes for the kids that you mentioned, are they taking on head trauma? What about that article makes you think that he is implying that ALL suicides may be linked to CTE? :laugh: We all know that certain medications make you more at risk for suicide. Does that mean that all people who commit suicide are taking those meds? No. It doesn't. lol. So what is your point?

My point is that lets just say.. 10 .. MMA fighters.. in the past 5 years have intentionally killed themselves.. trying to tie that ti CTE is goofy math at best.

How many of those fighters were depressed.. had other issues going on?

How many football players kill themselves.. or rugby.. ice hockey..

I think throwing out sucides.. and CTE in the same sentenace is trying to create something that most likely isn't there.

What in the article???

How many of these MMA fighters who killed themselves or others had CTE? There's no way to know for sure, because post-mortem testing on their brain tissue was not done by the Brain Injury Research Institute, or by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University, the two organizations that have been at the forefront of CTE-related research. But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those fighters who had CTE is zero.

That.

It's like saying how many firefighters killed themselves.. or others had CTE? There is no way to know for sure.. But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those firefighters who had CTE is zero.

Well until you have some numbers and facts to back up statements.. don't make them..

The military enlisted take huge shots to the head.. but you don't see people studying them to see how many of the guys that just recently.. or even in the past year.. had CTE...

Phantom facts..

How many healty chickens are actually used to make McNuggets.. there's no way to be sure... But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those healthy chickens is zero.

It's creating a problem with any basis of fact.

J.B.
10-05-2010, 06:32 PM
This guy says it best...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbX6AiUX33I

J.B.
10-05-2010, 06:37 PM
Another good video to check out...(with James Toney)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8DXiCr3-jE&NR=1

Neezar
10-06-2010, 05:46 AM
My point is that lets just say.. 10 .. MMA fighters.. in the past 5 years have intentionally killed themselves.. trying to tie that ti CTE is goofy math at best.

How many of those fighters were depressed.. had other issues going on?

How many football players kill themselves.. or rugby.. ice hockey..

I think throwing out sucides.. and CTE in the same sentenace is trying to create something that most likely isn't there.

What in the article???



That.

It's like saying how many firefighters killed themselves.. or others had CTE? There is no way to know for sure.. But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those firefighters who had CTE is zero.

Well until you have some numbers and facts to back up statements.. don't make them..

The military enlisted take huge shots to the head.. but you don't see people studying them to see how many of the guys that just recently.. or even in the past year.. had CTE...

Phantom facts..

How many healty chickens are actually used to make McNuggets.. there's no way to be sure... But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those healthy chickens is zero.

It's creating a problem with any basis of fact.

Phantom facts? The man has a legitimate question. Is CTE a high risk factor leading to suicide?

The dude is asking a question. Not stating a fact, phantom or otherwise.


I think throwing out sucides.. and CTE in the same sentenace is trying to create something that most likely isn't there.

Well, I disagree here. I think anyone who ignores the possibility of a link between CTE and suicide is making a poor judgment call.

BamaGrits84
10-06-2010, 03:23 PM
I read another story about this recently where a NFL player that played for a local high school and then for Alabama has ALS. Here is a quote from a Wikipedia A 2010 study has raised questions about the diagnosis of ALS in some veterans and athletes, suggesting that repeated concussions may cause a chronic traumatic encephalopathy that mimics ALS; this might explain the higher rate of ALS diagnoses in those populations.
At first I thought "I'm pulling my kids out of football." But I know 5 other men that have played college and pro that are fine. Not the oldest is only in his 50s but still he seems fine.

I don't doubt that ANY brain injury can cause longterm effects that no one can foresee. My mother was in a car wreck, ejected, and cracked her skull open. She's suffer serious depression, 1 suicide attempt, and now signs of alzhimers and she's only 59. Her memory has always been bad. Her doctors say it's from the injury to her brain. So why single out impact sports? Should we steel the dream of every would be high school star or TUF contestant in the name of what MIGHT happen to them? Is so lets pull cars off the roads just incase someone gets a brain injury from a wreck. Hey I'll tell you what, let's just bubble wrap ourselves.

I'm not downplaying what can happen from brain injuries. I'm just saying, as some of you have, we make choices to be involved in sports or drive without a seatbelt or ride a bike without a helmet on. We are not promised tomorrow. Why live in fear until your days are done?

Neezar
10-06-2010, 04:27 PM
This is a very thought provoking article that's been making the rounds on a lt of the big MMA news sites. It was a tough read for me because a lot of it, I didn't, & still don't, want to know. However, as intelligent, educated fans, I think it's important for us to thoughfully consider what this man has to say.

It's a long article, so I'm going to break it up into the sub-headings he's already provided. I'll hold off on my comments until some of y'all have had a chance to sound off.

Thank you.

I don't think anyone is calling for MMA to be banned. Just educated. That isn't so bad, is it?

Spiritwalker
10-06-2010, 04:29 PM
Phantom facts? The man has a legitimate question. Is CTE a high risk factor leading to suicide?

The dude is asking a question. Not stating a fact, phantom or otherwise.


I don't see it that way.. looks to me like he is saying that CTE makes people want to commit sucide..


Well, I disagree here. I think anyone who ignores the possibility of a link between CTE and suicide is making a poor judgment call.

sucide can also be linked to the phase of the moon, the nutrition of the individual and MANY other factors..

why not take ALL sucides and see if they have CTE.. and then take that percentage.. and go from there...

But I'd have to be kidding myself to think that the number of those fighters who had CTE is zero.

.. what about the fighters that DON'T kill themseleves.. how about testing them for CTE... that would be a better way of looking at critizing a specific sport.

Spiritwalker
10-06-2010, 04:33 PM
I read another story about this recently where a NFL player that played for a local high school and then for Alabama has ALS. Here is a quote from a Wikipedia
At first I thought "I'm pulling my kids out of football." But I know 5 other men that have played college and pro that are fine. Not the oldest is only in his 50s but still he seems fine.

I don't doubt that ANY brain injury can cause longterm effects that no one can foresee. My mother was in a car wreck, ejected, and cracked her skull open. She's suffer serious depression, 1 suicide attempt, and now signs of alzhimers and she's only 59. Her memory has always been bad. Her doctors say it's from the injury to her brain. So why single out impact sports? Should we steel the dream of every would be high school star or TUF contestant in the name of what MIGHT happen to them? Is so lets pull cars off the roads just incase someone gets a brain injury from a wreck. Hey I'll tell you what, let's just bubble wrap ourselves.

I'm not downplaying what can happen from brain injuries. I'm just saying, as some of you have, we make choices to be involved in sports or drive without a seatbelt or ride a bike without a helmet on. We are not promised tomorrow. Why live in fear until your days are done?


Well said!

I had some nasty stuff happen to me that did not result in a concussion.. I got so depressed I was stupid close to killing myself.. (always a coward way out)..

Labeling an injury as a cause of sucide is just trying to draw attention to something that isn't really there...

Neezar
10-06-2010, 04:38 PM
I don't see it that way.. looks to me like he is saying that CTE makes people want to commit sucide..




sucide can also be linked to the phase of the moon, the nutrition of the individual and MANY other factors..

why not take ALL sucides and see if they have CTE.. and then take that percentage.. and go from there...



.. what about the fighters that DON'T kill themseleves.. how about testing them for CTE... that would be a better way of looking at critizing a specific sport.

Because he is NOT implying that ALL suicides can be linked to CTE. :blink:

There are two totally different ideas here. You must differentiate between:

Does (or can) CTE put a person at higher risk for suicide?

and

Does CTE play a part in ALL suicides?

I think he is asking the first question and you are addressing the second. Two totally different statements. Does that make it any clearer for you?

Neezar
10-06-2010, 04:43 PM
I read another story about this recently where a NFL player that played for a local high school and then for Alabama has ALS. Here is a quote from a Wikipedia
At first I thought "I'm pulling my kids out of football." But I know 5 other men that have played college and pro that are fine. Not the oldest is only in his 50s but still he seems fine.

I don't doubt that ANY brain injury can cause longterm effects that no one can foresee. My mother was in a car wreck, ejected, and cracked her skull open. She's suffer serious depression, 1 suicide attempt, and now signs of alzhimers and she's only 59. Her memory has always been bad. Her doctors say it's from the injury to her brain. So why single out impact sports? Should we steel the dream of every would be high school star or TUF contestant in the name of what MIGHT happen to them? Is so lets pull cars off the roads just incase someone gets a brain injury from a wreck. Hey I'll tell you what, let's just bubble wrap ourselves.

I'm not downplaying what can happen from brain injuries. I'm just saying, as some of you have, we make choices to be involved in sports or drive without a seatbelt or ride a bike without a helmet on. We are not promised tomorrow. Why live in fear until your days are done?

Well said!

I had some nasty stuff happen to me that did not result in a concussion.. I got so depressed I was stupid close to killing myself.. (always a coward way out)..

Labeling an injury as a cause of sucide is just trying to draw attention to something that isn't really there...

No one here but you are labeling an injury as a cause of suicide. The man brought up a question of whether or not CTE increases the risk of someone commiting suicide. We already KNOW that traumatic brain injuries can increase the risk (as Mrs Bama has referenced to in her mother). Would it not be negligent on our part to dismiss the idea that many minor brain injuries could produce the same effect?

Spiritwalker
10-06-2010, 05:15 PM
Would it not be negligent on our part to dismiss the idea that many minor brain injuries could produce the same effect?

I agree with that.. but instead of pointing out MMA.. seems like there are many other sports that are worth more attention regarding this issue.. but the author appears to try and use this as an "attention getter".. when actually other sports would have a higher ratio.. even if you increase the numbers of MMA fighters to say.. NFL players..

look at the numbers.. how many active NFL players are there?? say..200 for even/easy numbers sake.. compare that to the 25 MMA fighters (again.. easy numbers).. 5 MMA guys kill themseleves over a year (which would be an INSANE percentage).. don't you think that we should be looking at the NFL.. before that this became evident in MMA?

Using the "hot topic" (MMA in this case)..to draw attention to something that has been around for years is poor journalism IMO..

similiar to not having seatbelts on school buses.. or high school sucides of sports players that play impact sports..

Bonnie
10-06-2010, 10:39 PM
Editor's note: This article, by Ivan Trembow, was re-published with permission. It's something to consider as we are still young in this sport, and perhaps unaware of what fate awaits today's generation of cage fighters.

A few weeks ago, I made the decision that I am no longer going to be watching MMA (or football, or boxing, or kickboxing).



I don't think anyone is calling for MMA to be banned. Just educated. That isn't so bad, is it?

I agree. I believe the Editor's note above that forwards the article sets it up exactly how it was meant to be taken, as "something to consider". As for the original author of the article, I just think he was simply sharing a decision he had come to regarding a sport he loved and why he made that decision. He clearly includes football, boxing and kickboxing as sports he will no longer watch also so I think it's safe to say he's come to the same conclusion regarding those sports that he has mma.

I don't think he's trying to harm the sport of mma or sway anybody else to his conclusion.

Neezar
10-07-2010, 02:10 PM
I agree with that.. but instead of pointing out MMA.. seems like there are many other sports that are worth more attention regarding this issue.. but the author appears to try and use this as an "attention getter".. when actually other sports would have a higher ratio.. even if you increase the numbers of MMA fighters to say.. NFL players..



But MMA is what was on his mind when he wrote it. He gave the others an honorable mention. :laugh:

VCURamFan
10-07-2010, 04:49 PM
Here's a reply from another author:

http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/uploads/1/Staff06Ennis_130_2.jpg
By: Shawn Ennis, MMATorch Columnist

Ivan Trembow has been commenting publicly on MMA for a lot longer than I have. While I haven't followed his work religiously by any means, I know who he is and I respect what he's done in the world of MMA journalism. So when he published a blog post last week saying that he would no longer be watching MMA, it was a bit of a shock to me.

My first instinct when I decided, following the suggestion of Wade Keller, to respond to Trembow's article was to defend my beloved MMA. After all, these guys know what they're getting into, right? I'm not asking Dan Henderson to smash Michael Bisping after he's knocked out, am I? I even criticized him for it (a little). This is not our fault. We're just watching, and the sport is great to watch, so why should I feel guilty?

The problem with that approach is that it's not the point. Trembow even said at the end of his editorial that he doesn't look down on those who enjoy the sport, and he still has respect for the fighters, but he just can't watch anymore. I get that, I suppose. If you can't participate in an activity, whether it's watching MMA or anything else, without something tugging at your conscience, you probably shouldn't do it. I think the thing I wrestled with the most is the fact that while I get his point, and while I feel horrible about the way a lot of these fighters and other athletes end up, I still enjoy watching these sports, and I don't feel guilty about it. So is there something wrong with me? Or anyone who's reading this? Do we as MMA fans with a full knowledge of the potential (and likely) effects that prizefighting has on a body have soul-searching to do?

After some thought, I have to say I think we're alright here. This is especially true in an era where the effects of concussions are widely known, and surely known by most who would pursue fighting as a profession. See, here's the thing: I thought of it from the point-of-view of a fighter, or an athlete who wants to participate in a full-contact sport where concussions and CTE are a real risk. If you told me that I could pursue this dream and make a living doing what I love, but that there's a distinct possibility that my quality and length of life would decrease as a result, would I still do it? Absolutely. But that's easy to say in a hypothetical sense. I for one have never been passionate about the prospect of blunt force trauma to my own cranium. But if it was common knowledge that just watching full contact sports would diminish my capacities to a certain extent later in life, would I still watch? Well, luckily none of us have to make that decision, and probably most of us would answer in the negative. But would it be an easy call? Would you say "no" with no hesitation? I know I'd hesitate. And if just watching those sports is that important to me, how much more important is it to those who successfully pursue careers within those realms?

Just the fact that we can watch MMA with a clear conscience, though, doesn't mean that we should be satisfied with the way things are. If you follow MMA news, you know that regulation is mostly a joke. The rules need to be updated. Judging criteria is nebulous and outdated. Pre- and post-fight medical examinations can range from somewhat thorough to essentially non-existent, depending on the state where an event is held and the size of the promotion holding it. Testing for PEDs is a joke regardless of where you go, and testing positive is so easy to avoid for anyone who knows what they're doing that anyone testing positive absolutely deserves to be suspended for a year.

Look MMA is not safe. It's never going to be, and it shouldn't be. It's a violent sport where the most effectively violent person is rewarded. But at the same time, these aren't street fights, and the participants are people like you and me. (Well, maybe not just like you and me, but you know what I mean). If we care about these people and their safety, we should feel obligated to do something about it. Find out who your athletic commissioner is and write to him or her. Find out the regulations in your state. Get informed. Get a group together and make some noise for your cause. I certainly don't know the right way to regulate MMA and its trappings, but there are people out there who are a lot smarter than I am in this realm and have a pretty good idea.

I've seen countless articles and editorials calling for someone to do something about the way MMA is run. We'll never see mixed martial arts turn into a sport where people aren't going to get hurt, and that's okay. But we ought to see it turn into a sport where fighters are protected from themselves, and from self-interested promoters. And the people from whom fighters need to be protected are the ones we're looking at to initiate change? We all know that in America (apologies to readers outside the States for the irrelevance) the loud minority can be heard. So why not get loud? Why not put together a group and get an agenda together that we can push? Someone's got to listen, right?

J.B.
10-09-2010, 02:06 AM
I agree with that.. but instead of pointing out MMA.. seems like there are many other sports that are worth more attention regarding this issue.. but the author appears to try and use this as an "attention getter".. when actually other sports would have a higher ratio.. even if you increase the numbers of MMA fighters to say.. NFL players..

look at the numbers.. how many active NFL players are there?? say..200 for even/easy numbers sake.. compare that to the 25 MMA fighters (again.. easy numbers).. 5 MMA guys kill themseleves over a year (which would be an INSANE percentage).. don't you think that we should be looking at the NFL.. before that this became evident in MMA?

Using the "hot topic" (MMA in this case)..to draw attention to something that has been around for years is poor journalism IMO..

similiar to not having seatbelts on school buses.. or high school sucides of sports players that play impact sports..

Whoa...LOLLERCOASTER....:laugh:

There are roughly 1700 active NFL players, and you could bump that number a little bit if you want to include free agents who may or may not play during a given season.

The UFC has roughly 200 fighters under contract, if I am not mistaken.

I know your numbers were rough, so I am not holding you to that, but it's important to consider that American Football isn't a sport that is hugely popular worldwide. If you looked at the number of active fighters in sports like MMA/Boxing against the number of football players in the world, the fighters would outnumber the football players, and that is including all the college and pee-wee kids.

J.B.
10-09-2010, 03:11 AM
I've seen countless articles and editorials calling for someone to do something about the way MMA is run. We'll never see mixed martial arts turn into a sport where people aren't going to get hurt, and that's okay. But we ought to see it turn into a sport where fighters are protected from themselves, and from self-interested promoters. And the people from whom fighters need to be protected are the ones we're looking at to initiate change? We all know that in America (apologies to readers outside the States for the irrelevance) the loud minority can be heard. So why not get loud? Why not put together a group and get an agenda together that we can push? Someone's got to listen, right?

:laugh:

Seriously, what more can the fans do? Don't get me wrong, the whole idea of some sort of grass-roots protest is great in theory, but you have to get everybody to actually agree on something first. Otherwise, you are just like Obama, preaching "CHANGE" with no real substance. Fans can barely agree on anything, let alone collectively organize some sort of massive overhaul to the rules. That has to come from the inside first.

Ennis is surely aware that protecting the fighters from themselves and shady promoters has already been an issue that has been addressed a countless number of times in fighting. Things like the Boxing Saftey Act, and Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act have been around for a long time and just because they use the title "Boxing" doesn't mean they don't apply to MMA.

This isn't an issue where we need to look at the sport and think it's needs a complete overhaul. It's just some guy who doesn't wanna watch anymore because he feels guilty. Sports are dangerous, as is life, but the rewards that come along with success in pro sports are a pretty fair trade for those risks. I'm not saying that because athletes get rich off of sports that we shouldn't care about making the sports as reasonably safe as we can, but they know what they are submitting themselves to when they get involved.