Fix The Injury Reporting System
By Christopher Jester
There is no doubt that injuries have taken a major toll on MMA events for several years now. Whether it is injuries before fights or undisclosed injuries that the fighters are coming into cages with – there seems to be no end to how injuries affect promotions. Just what can these promotions do to battle the constant threat of fighters under performing because of injuries or because they pull out of the fight beforehand?
As fans it is quite disappointing to know a fight that we were expecting is all of a sudden off because a fighter couldn’t participate in the fight because of an injury. To make matters worse is when these same fighters do not disclose what the injury was. It is hard to imagine that promotions allow this sort of thing to continue happening.
Which is why it was not surprising and honestly right on time for someone to speak out on it. World Series of Fighting’s executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz told MMAFighting.com, “We’re getting screwed. I’m trying to put on a fight card and be nice to fighters, and now they don’t want to fight each other.” While the subject matter may or may not have been because Rousimar Palhares withdrew from a fight to take care of his mother, this sort of situation happens more often than not.
Organizations put in place fight cards that are supposed to excite the fans, and ultimately there to collect the fan’s cash. But if you look beyond the financial gain for the promotions, the fans are screwed here. It has come to a point where fighters should be required to fully disclose their injuries before a fight. If a fighter truly is injured, then there is very little else to say on the matter other than get better. But if a fighter wants to withdraw from a fight without disclosing it, then this shouldn’t simply be frowned upon – it should suffer dire consequences.
But we all know what most people will say. Congrats to a fighter who continues to go into a fight with pre-existing injuries. It is true, this is admirable. However, there is likely a deeper issue here. Most fighters with pre-existing injuries most likely do not want to reveal major issues such as knee or leg problems. These critical injuries can end careers early and if an opponent has an inkling of an idea about this injury they could aim to attack this spot. Much like how Matt Hughes found success in jabbing the right eye of Josh Koscheck after his orbital bone surgery.
This is likely a polarizing standpoint from fighters and fans alike. From one standpoint, anyone should relate to needing to take in some extra money. If your career is fighting, and you’re contemplating not fighting because of an injury, then you do have to question if disclosing you have an injury is the best thing at the moment.
But wouldn’t implementing an injury reporting system save fighters from themselves? A fighter who does not report a pre-existing injury would receive a fine or penalty if discovered at the night of weigh-ins. They should be allowed to fight but suffer a stiff fine. It seems a bit harsh, but there has to be some way to battle this threat to promotion’s fight cards.
There is no way to cease injuries. Promotions are often left handling the ticking bomb when their most anticipated fights fall through. The only way to help the situation is to develop some injury system. Even when we thought the UFC’s medical insurance would help, it only exacerbated the situation. With very little way to stop this, we are left to imagine what could be.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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