Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is becoming an extremely popular sporting event as evidenced by organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) appearing on major TV networks, selling out arenas across the United States and worldwide, and the 2016 sale of the UFC for 4 billion dollars. With the popularity of the MMA at the professional level, many local gyms are popping up and drawing athletes who enjoy combat sports, are trying something new and/or are looking to stay in shape. As the number of athletes who participate in MMA continue to increase, physicians and other practitioners need to be educated about the sport and the unique injuries sustained by these athletes. We will introduce MMA, discuss common injuries presenting to the office, discuss injuries and conditions that would prevent a fighter from fighting and discuss injuries seen while covering a MMA fight as a ringside physician.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss how striking, take-downs, holds and submissions in MMA lead to injuries to various joints, specifically the shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle joints, and fractures of the limbs, hands, face and torso.
  • Discuss blood born diseases, skin lesions, musculoskeletal injuries, neurologic conditions, ophthalmic conditions and cardiac conditions that would prohibit a fighter from fighting on fight night.
  • Discuss how rapid weight cuts can influence a fighter's performance on fight night and can lead to serious health consequences.