Journal Watch - The Social Stigma Surrounding MMA

At Bearhug we are huge fans of MMA, however we can’t avoid the negative press that is has received in the past. From calls of ‘human cock fighting’ to the ever-enduing tag of ‘cage fighting’, mixed martial arts are often accused of being more violent and brutal than boxing, however It turns out this is not true at all.
At the University of Alberta, a conducted study says the opposite is true; boxing poses a higher risk of serious injury, especially from concussions, head trauma and loss of consciousness.

There are many identified factors that lead to this:
• There is a lesser volume of hits to the head.
• There are less rounds.
• Fights can end without significant head trauma due to submissions.
• Gloves are smaller, which is actually a positive! Gloves protect the hands not the target, which leads to fewer hand injuries, but more head injuries.
• Refs are drilled to step in as soon as a fighter goes down and can’t defend themselves rather than getting a standing 8 count

Short Term vs Long Term Damage
The key distinction, and the reason MMA may appear more brutal is because of long vs short term damage:
Short term damage is more frequent in MMA, but more serious in boxing. The study states that bruising is the most common injury in MMA. In boxing, loss of consciousness and serious eye injury are more likely.

“You’re more likely to get injured if you’re participating in mixed martial arts, but the injury severity is less overall than boxing,” said lead author Shelby Karpman, a sports medicine physician at the Glen Sather clinic and a ringside doctor for the past 25 years.

“Most of the blood you see in mixed martial arts is from bloody noses or facial cuts; it doesn’t tend to be as severe, but looks a lot worse than it actually is.”

Whilst this study isn’t about long term damage there are numerous studies that show that repeated brain injuries which are more common in boxing, have serious long-term effects. This is in contrast to MMA where blows are distributed all over and fighters aren’t allowed to continue after a TKO.

Karpman’s team, working with the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission, went over post-fight records of 1,181 MMA fighters and 550 boxers battling between 2003 and 2013. Researchers discovered boxers are 7% likely to get a concussion, whereas it is only 4% for MMA fighters.
Karpman continues to say:
“I always say if you’re going to ban a sport, you need statistics. Just watching mixed martial arts twice on TV does not cut it. And even if you ban a sport, you’re not going to stop it. You’re just going to take it underground where they’re not going to receive medical care.”

We agree entirely! Whilst we support both boxing and MMA, and believe there is certainly a place for both sports. If you are competing (or even sparring) make sure you make regular doctor visits and listen to your coach’s advice about rehab and recovery.

We have also seen a number of high profile MMA fighters report functional improvements in their movement and injury prevention by using our Bearhug supports:

Professional fighter David ‘One More’ Round said the following:

I have no doubt that my Bearhug supports have saved my professional fighting career, the pain in my knees from years of punishment was crippling me. Now I can train and fight without any pain, during or afterwards.

If you’re looking for that extra support during your workout try our Bearhug supports today and see what all the fuss is about!