5 Facts About Head Trauma Fighters Know Kim M. September 9, 2016 Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit Tumblr Like 2 What Every MMA Fighter Should Know About Head Trauma In contact sports, especially MMA and boxing, head injuries from repeated blows are very common. MMA fighters train to gain skills in many fighting styles including boxing, judo, wrestling and kickboxing. They wear fingerless gloves to protect themselves from repeated blows to the head. Even with all the protection, knockouts and TKOs are common in MMA. It is, therefore, important that MMA fighters know the following facts about head trauma. • # 1: Repeated head trauma leads to decreased brain volume and slower cognitive responses. A study carried out in Cleveland that carried tests on over 500 fighters with at least 10 fights under their belt found that repeated trauma caused fibers that connect parts of the brain to be detached. This causes fighters to respond slower and may promote slurred speech. • # 2: Scientific evidence has shown that fighters have a breaking point related to the amount of trauma they can receive. After they reach that point, further trauma will lead to irreversible cognitive and brain damage. The particular breaking point will vary by each fighter. • # 3: When a fighter is knocked out, that fighter may suffer a concussion depending on the intensity. You can also get a concussion without getting knocked out. Fighters should allow ample time to heal and undergo a concussion protocol before proceeding with training and competition. Getting a second concussion before the first one has healed can lead to Second Impact Syndrome which can cause the brain to swell; it is a condition that is potentially deadly. Fighters should avoid fighting through concussions as this may lead to severe long-term brain injury. • #4: To protect yourself, it is critical that you wear headgear when sparring. Not many in the MMA world MMA enjoy wearing headgear, but it can be a real necessity. That extra padding could be crucial in protecting your head from taking too many hits when training. • #5: If you’ve suffered a concussion then you must take time off to heal. Don’t participate in training or another fight that may lead to further injury.