Brain trauma is an unspoken issue in the combat sports world and MMA veterans often suffer in silence. While acknowledging the existence of such problems, the UFC has always been reluctant to dive deep into this particular issue.
Recently, an MMAFighting article made waves in the MMA community. The article was written by Steven Marrocco and told the story of UFC veteran Spencer Fisher. Fisher accepted to share his story, including the way CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) ruined his life by making him permanently disabled and unable to work.
The article portrayed the shocking and heartbreaking story of a man brushed off to the side after being used for years. Furthermore, Fisher is just one of many former fighters who find themselves in this situation. When asked for a quote regarding the story ahead of UFC on ABC 1, White deemed that struggling with CTE is just part of the job.
“We’re all learning everyday about the brain injury stuff” White said to MMA Junkie, “We’ve been investigating in this (Lou) Ruvo Center to try to figure out more.”
He then added, “But listen, (Fisher)’s not the first and he’s definitely not going to be the last. This is a contact sport, and everybody who’s ever done this (while) younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s just part of the gig.”
While it is true that every fighter does have to deal with brain trauma, brushing it off as just a part of the gig might not be the right approach. Neither is comparing yourself to people who have been getting punched in the face for 15 years of their lives.