A word of caution for old fighters competing on MMA

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by OMMAniscient, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. OMMAniscient

    OMMAniscient Orange Belt

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    I'm very concerned about the lack of responsibility of MMA events promoting fights between old time fighting veterans. As an MMA fan, I certainly understand the hype behind bringing an old champion back to action. However, as a neurologist, I am very concerned with their safety. Here is why:

    1) Risk of subdural hematomas
    WIth aging, the bridging veins draining the blood from the brain to the cerebral venous sinus becomes more prone to rupture, leading to subdural hematomas. As the brain is more atrophic due to aging and prior injury, the veins hang in the subdural space, and can rupture from sheering stress.

    [​IMG]

    Believe me, we are gonna start seeing this happening. The problem of the subdural hemorrhages is that the bleeding flow can be very slow. The brain accommodates initially, but then the increase pressure in the brain and the irritation that the blood causes lead to headache, weakness, seizures, etc, and can eventually kill if not treated appropriately - blood may have to be removed surgically.

    2) Risk of strokes
    With aging, our arterial vessels become calcified and lose the connective tissue that gives its flexibility and compliance. Abrupt neck movement, head trauma or compression may hurt the carotid or vertebral arteries that run in the neck, leading to dissection (partial rupture) or throw a cloth up to the brain, leading to a potentially devastating stroke.

    [​IMG]

    3) Accelerating chronic traumatic encephalopathy (dementia)

    Blows to the head lead to the accumulation of a protein inside of the neurons (tau). Over time this can lead to dementia. With aging, there's decreased ability to deal with brain injury and its toxic products, leading to more accumulation of tau, which causes dementia.

    [​IMG]


    There are multiple other risks. Bones become weaker with aging, predisposing to fractures. Skull fractures can lead to life threatening injuries (e.g. epidural hematoma from meningeal artery tear). Other organs may also be more prone to injury. Moreover, post-fight whole body scan may miss an early injury.

    I just hope referees do their job and protect the fighters the best they can, stopping fights early. More conservative rules should apply (e.g. banning elbows to the down opponent, etc). There should be an age limit for fighters, which should be based on fighting time, blows to the head, etc.

    I'm an MMA fan, and to make sure it continues we need to protect our fighters!

    thoughts?
     
  2. Ez Eric

    Ez Eric Amateur Fighter

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    I absolutely love MMA for the technique and competition aspect of it. But I hate the damage that can potentially come with each fight. Your post makes me think of Big Nog. One of my idols but I worry about his health
     
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  3. Al Gorithm

    Al Gorithm Red Belt

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    I think once a good portion of these guys start getting into their 50s it's gonna get ugly. I'm not sure what you can do about it other than trying to insure that there will be some sort of support in place for the guys that inevitably end up having problems.

    Most of the replies you get will be short cited 22 year olds telling you to nut up and watch ballet instead if you don't like it. Half of these cretins think watching someone take excessive punishment is funny.
     
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  4. barillas

    barillas Anti-Marxist Belt

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    I think the heart issues are more common for old people. They need a more thorough examination if that's the case.
     
  5. DaffodilMcWoozy

    DaffodilMcWoozy Brown Belt

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    Everyone loves bellator right
     
  6. barillas

    barillas Anti-Marxist Belt

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    I usually don't think that way much, but I really can't stand watching Mark Hunt getting punished anymore, I'm not even a huge fan, I just think it's not healthy for the guy anymore.
     
  7. Ashenthorn

    Ashenthorn Black Belt

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    Hope Ken and Royce are smart enough to agree to make it a grappling match.
     
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  8. LHWBelt

    LHWBelt Silver Belt

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    Fighting isn't good for your health and it gets worse as you get older. We know this. Hopefully most guys don't stick around too long like Shamrock and Sakuraba. Not much we can do if they want to though because people will pay to see them fight. Shamrock's been terrible for a while yet ppl will pay to see him fight Gracie.
     
  9. Al Gorithm

    Al Gorithm Red Belt

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    I think the " chemical enhancement " is gonna come back to haunt lots of guys too. Sadly, I don't see the Vitor Belforts of the world being healthy @ 60
     
  10. Emporio Alnino

    Emporio Alnino only the results!

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    i really want Cro Cop to sit it down.. the gonzaga KO alone had to take some years off. i don't even wanna know how saku is gonna turn out..
     
  11. OMMAniscient

    OMMAniscient Orange Belt

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    Kevin Randlemann is possibly an example. He died of heart failure after an admission for pneumonia. It is very likely that what he had in the first place was pulmonary edema from the heart failure, secondary to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can be a result of and contributed by performance enhancing drugs (e.g. steroids, GH, etc). I don't want to create a big deal on this, but no healthy 40-year-old man die of heart failure out of a pneumonia. That would be extremely rare.
     
  12. Al Gorithm

    Al Gorithm Red Belt

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    I think it kinda goes without saying that it probably played a part. Look at recent pics taken of him and him at his peak and .........well. I'll leave it there out of respect for what seems like was universally thought a good dude.
     
  13. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    If they wanna live their life let them it's their decision and better a shorter but fulfilling life then a dull and slightly longer one.

    Also i doubt that we'll suddenly see MMA fighters drop dead not more at least then they would anyway. Boxing has been around forever it's not like we are in unknown terretory just because only know MMA veterans are getting that old we have over 100 years of boxing and it's not like every other older boxer drops dead in fights
     
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  14. KingOfThePikeys

    KingOfThePikeys Banned Banned

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  15. Blayt7hh

    Blayt7hh Steel Belt

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    Clearly it's a risk but I agree that to much gets made of it. I also agree though that it is flat out irresponsible to put old fighters in the ring, especially ones who have been visibly deteriorating
     
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  16. OMMAniscient

    OMMAniscient Orange Belt

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    I did not know that there have been so much experience with 40+ boxing fighters. Regarding young fighters, I agree with you.
    If you don't care about the fighters, have you ever considered that if one case happens it may be the end of MMA?
     
  17. Bend NvR Break

    Bend NvR Break Order to Chaos. Chaos to Order.

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    Combat sports, good health, quality of life and old age are words that usually don't go together.
     
  18. nstig8

    nstig8 Green Belt

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    Kevin Randleman was 44. Hendo is 45 and has a fight against Machida coming up. This sport is insane.
     
  19. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    YOu don't put them in the ring they chose to enter the ring.

    Give them medical checkups maybe even more medical checkups than other fighters but as long as they pass them like every other fighter then they should be able to fight as long as they want to.

    Boxing with it's modern rules is older than 100 years there have been thousands of boxers competing over 40 for over 100 years. The average age of boxers has increased just like athletes in every other sport are able to compete longer than they used to years ago but still there have been boxers over 40 even 100 years ago.

    There have been boxers who died or got seriously injrued on televised fights and it hasn't ended the sport just like it won't end MMA.

    Also it will happen at any rate.

    People will die in MMA there's no way around it there ar epeople dying in much safer sports people will die in pro sports let alone combat sports. There have been deaths in MMA and at some point there will be deaths even in the UFC it will happen boxers have died and gotten injured in big televised cards and it will also happen in the UFC regardless of what you do it's not a matter of "if" it's amatter of "when"
     
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  20. Wizzlebiz

    Wizzlebiz Wizzlebiz is the Wizziest

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    I doubt it will be the end of mma. When Ali was visibly and audibly different from his time in boxing it did not end boxing.

    Now with that said i do worry about the fighters. I worry about the quality of life after there career ends. But there is something to be said about doing what you love.

    As our understanding of brain function becomes deeper ( im sure you can agree we have only scratched the surface). We will have new technologies to test these guys with. I believe a pre fight mri is they way currently to determine whos healthy enough brain wise to compete.
     
  21. Blayt7hh

    Blayt7hh Steel Belt

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    I don't know why you're saying you in all caps, I know I'm not doing it. Bellator is though, and no big time org should be putting a guy like Shamrock in the cage. And yes they are doing it by signing them. The UFC did it with Nog. I cringed when they announced his fight with Nelson. Whether he agreed to fight or not I still feel like that was a shifty thing for the UFC to do
     

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