Sports injuries happen even in contactless sport; however, what can you say about injuries in a sport where your opponent is deliberately aiming to cause you damage. Not only are they actively trying to hurt you and hurt your body, but they also know the right techniques to do this in the most effective/brutal manner possible. Now, there are some rules that provide a certain level of protection, as well as techniques that are deemed the most effective. This results in a certain type of injury being more common than others. Here are some of the most common injuries MMA and UFC fighters are likely to suffer from.
Now, when it comes to head injuries, there are quite a few orbital bone fractures in the MMA. However, concussions are far more common and, as such, a far bigger problem. Still, it is worth pointing out that concussions in MMA are far less serious than those in boxing. After all, there are more ways to submit your opponent without striking, and the gloves have less padding. This means that there’s no long-term accumulation of damage (hundreds of head strikes throughout 8-12 rounds). In a way, the brutal nature of this sport makes it safer than its “more civilized” counterpart.
2. Knee injuries
There are several reasons why knees often get injured in MMA. First of all, knees are targeted, seeing as how injuring them may limit the mobility of your opponent. Second, the knee is often exposed by one when checking leg kicks. This, too is an additional risk factor. Just throwing kicks (even if you miss) is an intense action that might twist and rupture knee ligaments. These injuries are particularly dangerous and have caused obstacles in the careers of even some of the sport’s greatest champions like Robert Whittaker.
According to experts behind Fairfield podiatry, this is a serious injury with a lengthy recovery process. The chances are that both surgery and physical therapy will be required until full recovery is achieved.
3. Hand injuries
According to some former UFC experts, the introduction of MMA gloves to the sport is one of the worst things that ever happened. You see, these gloves are lighter in order to allow both grappling and striking but their padding really doesn’t provide too much protection for the fist. Sure, it does help but even professional boxers and kickboxers, get their hands hurt when striking and the padding that their gloves have are far superior. Sure, proper bandaging and proper striking techniques may help but even this is not a 100% guarantee.
Moreover, during the early days of MMA, when there were no gloves, people were less likely to strike with their fists, which kept the level of hand injuries somewhat lower. Now, this extra layer of padding gave fighters a false sense of safety.
Fractures of all kinds are possible and even common in MMA. Why? Well, we’ve used this argument repeatedly and we’ll use it once more – the very nature of the sport is quite brutal. Now, the idea behind every strike is that you’re supposed to target a soft spot of an opponent with the strongest areas of your body. If you hit, chances are that they’ll get a fracture. If you miss, there’s a risk that you’ll suffer from one. Not to mention that weeks of preparation for the match cause accumulative damage to your body. This means that there’s a risk that every single strike may tip the scale.
5. Arm injuries
So far, we’ve mostly talked about striking injuries. Why? Well, mostly because submissions, as terrifying as they are, don’t leave that much of lasting damage. However, the same cannot be said about armbars. This move is designed to cause immense pressure to the soft spot of your opponent, causing them to yield. Now, the problem lies that there are some MMA fighters who have an incredibly high level of pain tolerance. Others are stubborn or courageous enough not to tap. This is a bad thing, seeing as how pain is the most important warning sign out there, and ignoring it is never a good idea.
In the end, you need to understand that it’s not just about competitiveness. The nature of MMA is brutal on its own, which is why these injuries are likely during the training or sparing sessions, as well. Therefore, while these injuries are common with UFC fighters, even recreational MMA fans are at risk of suffering from them. Knowing where the trap lies will encourage you to be extra careful and use protective gear whenever you can. It will also explain why it’s so important that you use protective equipment.
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