UFC president Dana White admits there is still much to learn about the issue of brain injuries, and even hinted at the first-hand experience of issues caused by head trauma in combat sport.
Brain injury has been a widely discussed topic inside the MMA bubble this year. Earlier this month, the UFC donated $1 million to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Then, earlier this week, MMA Fighting published an in-depth long-form article on UFC veteran Spencer Fisher’s struggle with CTE.
Retired UFC lightweight Spencer Fisher came forward to share his story of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) following several years of caged combat, enough to leave him permanently disabled and unable to work. The former UFC lightweight, who was forced to retire in 2013 after lesions on his brain were discovered during a pre-fight medical scan, continues to deal with a multitude of symptoms that hamper him in his day-to-day life while trying to earn a living for his family. All part of the job, according to promotion president Dana White.
Following UFC fighter Spencer Fisher’s admission that he’s battling the effects of CTE in a detailed interview with MMA Fighting, UFC president Dana White admits there is still much to learn about the issue of brain injuries, and even hinted at the first-hand experience of issues caused by head trauma in combat sport. The organization announced last week its continued collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and its Professional Athletes Brain Health Study and donated $1 million to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.
Dana White On Brain Injuries
Speaking to MMA Junkie on Wednesday on “UFC Fight Island” ahead of UFC on ABC 1, White explained that the UFC is continuing to work with industry leaders in trying to learn more about the issues of brain health in professional sports.
“Listen, we’re all learning every day about the brain injury stuff,” White said. “We’ve been investing in this (Lou) Ruvo Center to try to figure out more. We’re now interested (about) this thing that just came out on ‘Real Sports’ about psychedelics, and we’ve reached out to the Johns Hopkins guys, and we’re diving into that.
“But listen, (Fisher)’s not the first, and he’s 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.”
Ex-UFC fighters Ian McCall and Dean Lister both spoke out recently about the improvements they’ve made after experimenting with psychedelic drugs as a way to treat trauma suffered during their respective fight careers.
Of course “part of the gig” and the studies being funded to better understand brain trauma doesn’t help with Fisher’s long term health or the costs of the care he requires to deal with the brain trauma suffered during his career.
UFC welterweight Matt Brown also sympathized with Fisher’s condition, especially after he’s personally faced some of those same symptoms during his career.
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