You can say what you will about the UFC, but the one claim that can not be made is that they have not been taking concerns of head trauma seriously. This was seen big time with the release of a new concussion protocol, along with other information about injured fighters.
To be fair, the UFC has not always been the best at protecting fighters from concussions, or successfully helping them recover. There is the standard procedure of keeping fighters sidelined fo a few weeks after getting knocked out, but we have repeatedly seen those rules overridden when the circumstance calls for it.
However with the rise in cases such as Spencer Fisher’s troubling health concerns post-fighting, the promotion has started doing more to study the effects of head trauma in fighters. They have even donated large sums of money to fund studies on CTE, helping to further advance the field.
UFC PI Reveals Massive Report On Fighter Concussions
Now it seems that the next step in the UFC and their research into head trauma is coming from the UFC Performance Institute. They released a massive, 484-page study that included a wide array of interesting information.
However what stands out the most is that they unveiled the first official concussion protocol in the promotion’s history. The protocols closely imitate that of the NFL, with athletes using a SCAT5 test to determine the severity of the concussion, then having a recovery process hat starts with up to two days of rest, before moving to one of two no-contact workout plans, and lastly reintroducing live sparring at a slow pace.
Aside from this new protocol, the UFC PI also included extensive, detailed research data on numerous athletes and coaches, spanning from 2017-2019. This makes “A Cross-Sectional Performance Analysis and Projection of the UFC Athlete” the most detailed study into MMA in the sport’s history.
“The goal is we really want to support the ongoing development and performance behaviors and activities in the MMA gyms in the combat community globally,” said Duncan French, the UFC’s vice president of performance.
“We are slowly aggregating our own insights and our information here in the Performance Institute, and we want to share that. We don’t want the PI to become an ivory tower where the information is only retained for a discrete 600 roster of fighters.”
This journal is a massive resource for MMA fighters both in and outside of the UFC, with the goal being for the concussion protocols to become standard practice across the sport. Aside from this information, it also included details of training strategies for both offseason and in camp, as well as a comparison of the concussion symptoms between male and female athletes.
This is a massive resource for fighters moving forward, and it is good to see the UFC putting time and effort into researching this. Hopefully these findings can lead to more detailed research and a better understanding of concussions in the sport.