In a historic first, the UFC has released official concussion protocols following the results of a 484-page study on MMA.
On Tuesday, UFC alongside their Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada released details of the digital journal on new concussion protocols. The title of the journal is “A Cross-Sectional Performance Analysis and Projection of the UFC Athlete.” Over the span of two years (2017-2019) the study analyzes data collected from UFC athletes, with the intention of providing safer competition for future fighters. In what is likely the most comprehensive study ever produced in the field of MMA, it will be a gigantic leap in helping fighters after they endure head trauma or any sort of traumatic brain injury (TBIs).
The journal is the second volume the UFC Performance Institute has published, the first volume on TBIs came in 2017, which is also the year the institution opened for business.
“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.”
Representatives at the UFC Performance Institute believe that disseminating the information is most helpful to the public and not just UFC fighters. The most ground-breaking information given was the new five-stage plan for fighters to implement after suffering a concussion. The concussion protocol the UFC will take is similar to what is already practiced in the NFL. Initially, it begins with two days of rest and then advances with two days of no-contact workouts. In what is essentially a questionnaire about symptoms, the UFC intends to utilize the tool to help prevent TBIs and injuries moving forward.
Following the first few steps, the fighter is instructed to ease themselves slowly back into rigorous activities. Ultimately, the final stage in the protocol is live sparring, which is there to help simulate the feeling of a real fight. Additionally, the digital journal describes slowly adding rounds to the sparring as time passes and that returning with full contact will require a physician’s approval first.
In the end, it’s a great tool to help the UFC and other promotions carve a safe path for individuals should they become a victim to the harmful effects of concussions. Perhaps, the journal publication could also have a positive impact on studies examining Chronic traumatic encephalopathy as well (AKA: CTE).
What do you make of the giant study conducted by the UFC Performance Institute? Let us know below what you think!