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By: kperk (922)
On: Aug 29, 2003 | 6:56 PM

Death & MMA
Mixed Martial Arts' risk of death is at least two times higher than that of boxing


by Brian Kodi
April 20, 1998 Douglas Dedge's untimely death in No Holds Barred (NHB) has opened the floodgates of debate and subjected Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to a well deserved scrutiny. The haunting question is, could this tragedy have been averted? Mr. Dedge's death, although tragic, provides a baseline for MMA risk analysis.

By all accounts, Dedge took 3-4 blows to the head, not uncommon in any NHB fight; Vitor Belfort hit John Hess with a dozen or more unanswered blows in Hawaii years ago. Boxers exchange an average of 30-40 blows per round! How many solid blows did Eugenio receive before Hamilton stopped the fight in UFC XVI? Is it fair to expect the referee to jump in following the first couple of unanswered blows? 3-4 blows can happen in a matter of seconds. I saw Dedge's fight in Kiev, Ukraine. Most of the punches by his opponent missed the target. The ones that landed paled in solidarity to the punishment Belfort dishes out in any of his fights.


At the risk of sounding callous, I believe the first known death in NHB may very well have been due to pre-existing conditions, a punch that hit the exact spot, or both. One of Dedge's friends mentioned his blacking out sometimes in training a couple of months prior to his last fight. Dr. Peter W. Lampert and Dr. John M. Hardman wrote in a 1984 JAMA article that one punch to the head in the right spot can "cause the soft brain to glide and swirl within the skull, tearing vessels and nerve fibers." One result may be a subdural hematoma, an area in which blood from torn vessels clots and puts pressure on the brain, sometimes causing death.

The question now becomes, should Dedge have been allowed to fight in the first place? The Ukrainian promoters have been criticized heavily and partly blamed for not taking adequate measures to prevent Douglas Dedge's death. When we speak of "unprofessionally run" events, do these include previous UFCs with Ranger Stott, Fred Ettish, Scott Baker, John Matua, Teila Tuli, and Thomas Ramirez? Let's face it: This is NHB, not Sunday school. Fighters will be exploited because there is profit to be made.



Boxing has been regulated to death, yet there are unqualified fighters who take centerstage in main events repeatedly. George Foreman has been a punching bag for a number of years. That doesn't stop him or boxing promoters from cashing in on his name. Is it fair to say the Ukrainian promoters exploited Dedge and let him compete when he may not have been qualified in the 1st place? Absolutely! But the same criticism holds true for previous UFCs, IVCs, WVCs, UVFs, MARS, WCC, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and various other contact sports. Russian Absolutes have an uncanny reputation for seeking out unqualified contestants. In Russian Absolute II, a Russian fighter, while chasing after his opponents, tripped and fell on his own arm. His arm snapped in half in a very awkward and gutwrenching way. There were other comic indications of questionable fighter selection, such as when a fighter jumped up in the air with a flying kick, only to land flat on the ground and knock himself out. The one thing that was notably absent in the Kiev event was oxygen. I never saw an oxygen tank and mask, an absolute must in a fight event, administered to Douglas Dedge. For that, the promoters should be held in contempt in the worst possible way.

Mr. Dedge's death inevitably brings up the issue of safety in NHB. MMA events are inherently dangerous. Death, which is not uncommon in many other "safer" athletics, is inevitable in NHB. Those who tout NHB as a safer sport than boxing should take note of the following: Kevin Neuendorf, a media and public relations assistant at USA Boxing, the governing organization for U.S. amateur boxing says that in 1992, the last year for which he had complete statistics, USA Boxing put on 23,528 bouts, and there were 87 insurance claims for injuries and two for deaths. And these are only amateur bouts. The number of pro boxing fights around the world very likely far exceeds this number. The American Journal of Medical Association (JAMA) puts boxing deaths at a rate of 0.13 per 1,000. That translates into 1 death in 7,692 fights on the average. UFCs have been around since 1993 with an average of 7 fights per event and 5 shows per year. The total number of UFC matches has not exceeded 180 in 5 years. Conservatively speaking, if there were 20 additional NHB organizations since 1993 with roughly the same number of fights as the UFCs, the sum of all MMA fights worldwide in 5 years would be under 3,780 and there's already one accounted death. While it may be too early to tell, MMA risk for death appears to be at least two times higher than that of boxing.

The final question is, how far should an organization go to ensure fighter safety? If side airbags were installed in every automobile, 7,000 deaths due to side-impact crashes yearly could be prevented. The FAA has a specific cost benefit analysis formula down to the exact dollars it would cost airlines to save one human life. Lundberg, the JAMA editor, has editorialized that if boxing advocates want to make boxing safe, all they have to do is outlaw blows to the head.

Sadly, Douglas Dedge will not be the last to die in a NHB ring. Those who choose NHB as a career must do so with the understanding that there are risks associated with this sport, up to and including death. There are clearly measures every MMA organization must take to ensure fighter safety, but in the end, as Mike Tyson put it, "It's a fighter's sport. This is a hurt business. In this business, things happen."


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Aug 29, 2003 | 8:12 PM

doug dedge was blacking out in training more than a month before the fight. there was no mandatory physical prior to the show and the fight was held in an unsanctioned event. his death was certainly horrible for the sport but it cannot be blamed on the sport

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: newshrecs (6924)
On: Aug 30, 2003 | 2:41 PM

it just seems like all the right people are out to get this sport. but theres a demand from the people who love it like myself.i just hope we can attract more people and they become die hard fans.as long as mma has enough die hard fans it will continue.i just wish cox would get some nuts about them.and john mcain.this sport ever gets a death in ufc it could be over.noone will pay as much attention to that ukraine shit but if someone dies in ufc it could be over


By: kperk (922)
On: Aug 30, 2003 | 3:05 PM

yeah a death at this point in the ufc would be tough to overcome. Its virtually inevitable but lets just hope it never happens.
I dont agree with this guy saying that there are twice as many deaths as boxing. There has only been one and it really wasnt from anything too savage or devastating. Somewhere along the line this guy got injured, wether in training or at an event. He shouldve been seeing a physician after his blackouts in training. It possibly couldve been his irresponsability that lead to his death.
I dont train to fight or fight but i think its probably well known in the fighting community that if you got problems like that, you should get em checked.
Skiing, skydiving, and alot of team sports have suffered tragedies. Nascar didnt even come under scrutiny after its high profile death. There seems to be hidden political agenda's driving most of the controversy.
McCain would lose supporters if he spoke out against nascar because the sport is run by and loved by the conservatiuve rascist rednecks that support him.
Hockey games and alot of racing events have even lead to the death of fans, something that will probably never happen as a direct result from a mma fight.
Maybe everyone should just play tennis in elbow and knee pads.
Hmmm, knee pads, McCain's favorite protective gear.


By: pmosky (462)
On: Aug 30, 2003 | 5:05 PM

Well you knew I would respond...didn't you?

First, this was 1998!!! It's 2003 for Christ's sake. Second, and Whit hit this one on the head, this guy was blacking out in practice. What normal person blacks out, much less blacks out on multiple occasions? This guy had something else going on, regardless of how many times he got hit in his fight(s).

Kperk your mathematical comparison with boxing is, I'm sure, a little off. While I do not have data you must compare statistically valid samples and these are not statistically valid ones.

Interestingly, I had a breakfast meeting, today, with a fellow who promotes or has promoted boxing, MMA, wrestling, and extreme wrestling events. I was just educated that in Georgia, MMA, and wrestling events are NOT regulated by the Boxing Commission, which, of course, has the fighters checked out prior to all events. I do not know what other states do, although Nevada is regulated by the Boxing Commission. Medical guidelines there are closely followed.

Deaths will occur, sadly. MMA is a tough sport and deaths will occur. I agree that the sport will unfairly come under greater scrutiny than boxing (What about football? Anyone ever die playing football?).

As I stated earlier and still believe, MMA is significantly SAFER than boxing. There will be tragedies (Actually, I believe the biggest major risk is paralysis from being slammed on one's neck) as there are in all sports but I do not think a fair comparison will ever be made. There is a gut reaction to the sport equivalent of street fighting.

What do you all think would happen if a TRUE statistical comparison of the sports revealed that death rates were higher with football (I actually think this is true) than MMA? Would there be an outcry to ban the sport?


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Aug 30, 2003 | 9:23 PM

statistically speaking, skiing is the most dangerous sport in the world. something like 40 people a year die skiing, but you dont try to ban it. you dont tell people they can't ski, you try to make it as safe as possible and leave it up to the participants

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: kperk (922)
On: Aug 31, 2003 | 8:58 AM

pmonsky, not my article btw. Just one i found and thought people might find interesting.


By: tattedup (1064)
On: Sep 1, 2003 | 6:46 AM

Anything can be dangerous. MMA is no different, if it isnt regulated the right way, and evenso, accidents will happen.

--
I can't wait for violence - Nothingface


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Sep 2, 2003 | 10:23 AM

its all about how its regulated

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: momita (6)
On: Sep 6, 2003 | 6:10 PM

I checked stats on this very thing. The facts are...

that 900 people, (adults & children) die from riding a bicycle every year.


baseball and softball-
In 1999, more than 99,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries. Baseball also has the highest fatality rate among sports for children ages 5 to 14, with three to four children dying from baseball injuries each year.


ATV injuries requiring an emergency room visit have more than doubled in recent years - from an estimated 54,700 in 1997 to 111,700 in 2001.


Pole vaulting has the highest death rate of any sport in the country. A study published in the January 2001 edition of the American Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed 32 catastrophic pole-vaulting injuries, 16 of which resulted in death.


No doubt about it, Americaĺs 250 or so professional wrestlers live high-risk lives. When Meltzer studied accident and death data, he found that at least 16 U.S. pro wrestlers had died in a six-year period, or roughly one of every 85 each year.


According to the CDC, 'over 775,000 children under age 15 are treated in hospital emergency departments for sports-related injuries,' with about '80 percent of these injuries are from playing football, basketball, baseball, or soccer.' While many of these injuries are mild strains and sprains, more serious injuries, including broken bones and concussions, and even death can occur.


In 1993, cheerleaders made 15,600 trips to hospital emergency rooms nationwide for minor-to-severe injuries, according to results from the study by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. In 1992, the number of visits was 14,700 and in 1991, 11,700.

900 deaths from Boxing since first being recorded.


football= Fifteen football players died in the United States last year -- down from 23 in 2001 -- and none of the deaths was from heatstroke, according to an annual study. In 1999, more than 172,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for football-related injuries.


snow skiing/snowboarding-
In 1999, more than 16,300 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for snow skiing-related injuries. Another 19,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for snowboarding-related injuries.


skateboarding-
In 1999, more than 32,200 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for skateboarding-related injuries.


in-line skating/roller skating-
Since 1992, 37 children ages 14 and under have died from in-line skating injuries, mostly from collisions with motor vehicles. In 1999, nearly 58,600 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for in-line skating-related injuries. In 1999, nearly 27,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for roller-skating-related injuries.


trampolines-
In 1999, more than 78,000 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries. Most trampoline injuries occur at home (90 percent) and involve injury to a child's extremities.


soccer-
In 1999, approximately 81,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for soccer-related injuries.


ice skating-
In 1999, more than 16,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ice skating-related injuries.


By: ninjamonkey (27550)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 11:44 AM

Nice stats! I just read an interview with Dana, some boxer was saying that any of his guys could take out any UFC fighter anytime anywhere and said cagefighting had "caused many deaths." This coming from a boxer?!? Ludicrous. Dana dared the guy to put up or shut up.

MMA:1 dead guy
Boxing: 900 dead guys!

I hadn't heard about this Hedge guy. It sounds like he was the victim of several very bad decisions.

--
"If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit." - Mitch Hedberg


By: britt (6176)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 1:19 PM

In MMA almost any ufc guy would kill any boxer


By: BG (5944)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 1:19 PM

I'm a big fan and supporter of MMA. But, we need to be honest with ourselves about a few things. I've only followed this discussion tangentially, but a few factors seem to be consistently ignored.

You can't compare the number of injuries in baseball/boxing/skiing to the number of injuries in MMA unless you also take into account the number of participants.

How many professional baseball players are there? Boxers? More than there are professional MMA fighters, for sure. How many recreational baseball players are there? How many people go skiing? More than fight in amateur MMA events.

I am not arguing that MMA is less dangerous than any other sport. But, we need to be honest with ourselves about the dangers involved and take the necessary steps to prevent injuries through tight regulations and physical testing before we can convince the non-believers.

--
This space intentionally not left blank


By: momita (6)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 4:27 PM

Considering how many events are going on in so many different states, cities, ect BG, I think if this sport was as bad as some people think it is, wouldn't there be a "death" every once in awhile? But yet there hasn't been.

I live near Glamis, a desert where ATV riders go on weekends, there were 5 deaths at the beginning of this year within a 4 week period! 300 so far this past year.

There are no referees out there to make sure rules are being followed, yet MMA gets a bashing on a regular basis, MMA fighters dedicate long hours to be able to compete like they do, if it was as risky as it is made out to be, I doubt it would be allowed on Indian reservations even, it would be to high a liability risk, even for tribal land.

I think people in high places might even be slowly starting to realize what this sport has to offer, at least money wise, & thats a beginning for most things.

I found a website on a State Athletic Commissioner meeting about "Chairman Soto from the State Athletic Commissioners meeting who attended an Ultimate Fighting Championship in Las Vegas & it was well attended by about 12,000 to 15,000 people. And Nevada was reaping the benefits"!!! Page 2 of it.


http://216.239.33.104/search?q=cache:xb4QpZn2nNUJ:www.dca.ca.gov/csac/schedule/101601min.pdf++MMA++fighting+on+Indian+Reservations%3F&hl=en&ie=UTF-8


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 4:55 PM

the bottom line in this discussion is that nothing in life comes without danger. if two adults decide they want to do it, then who cares? it simply needs to be regulated... note that i said adults: i have been trying to find fight since i was 15 years old. i never even got a promoter to talk to me until near my 18th birthday and that was about a fight after my 18th birthday

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: BG (5944)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 11:16 PM

That's not the bottom line at all. We're talking about a sport in which the ways to win are knocking a human being unconscious or causing them sufficient pain to give up.

People may not get seriously injured very often in MMA, but that's because we've been very lucky in these early years of the sports to have referees and organizations who put the fighter's safety ahead of the fan's thirst for blood.

I enjoy MMA because I see it as the ultimate competition. The greatest test of athleticism, skill, and desire to win. I want to see the Octagon on ESPN and in the Olympics just like all of you. But, it's only going to get there by making it safer than boxing and all of its Budweiser money. Safer than football and all of its endorsements.

We have to separate ourselves from Pro Wrestling, Mike Tyson, and worked matches. I want to sit on my couch and watch you kick Baroni's ass in UFC LXXXI, Whit. The bottom line is that to make MMA a long-term success, we need to be the cleanest, tightest, most closely regulated sport in the world.

--
This space intentionally not left blank


By: fedorfan (6832)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 11:22 PM

Very well spoken.

--
"There is no happiness without tears; no life without death. Beware, I will give you cause to weep." -Lucian Staniak


By: BG (5944)
On: Sep 9, 2003 | 11:43 PM

And it only took 9 beers!

--
This space intentionally not left blank


By: tattedup (1064)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 4:44 AM

Here, Here. But in the same token, we need the fan support of pro-wrestling and Mike Tyson if our sport is going to last the next few years. MMA desperately needs mainstream exposure, and if Don King or Iron Mike can sell seats, by god, let them.

--
I can't wait for violence - Nothingface


By: BG (5944)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 11:03 AM

Yeah, it's a tightrope we're walking. Those two represent the fast track to popularity, but you get dark jedi points just for thinking about it.

--
This space intentionally not left blank


By: BG (5944)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 11:45 AM

The best thing Tyson can do for the sport is to get KTFO by a swift kick to the head in the first round. That will cause a stir in the boxing community.

--
This space intentionally not left blank


By: britt (6176)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 12:02 PM

Tyson could bring great exposure to the sport. It would bring in boxing fans that might watch and realise what a great sport MMA is and then they'll see Tyson get pounded and realise boxers arent the greatest fighters in thew world.


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 3:08 PM

our sport (at least in america) is on its way to being one of the most well regulated sports in the world. our safety record speaks for itself. just today i saw a kid skateboarding with his friends fall and break his arm, hows that for safety and regulation?

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: momita (6)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 4:41 PM

People are afraid of what they don't understand. So instead of trying to find out the facts of something, it's much easier to trash talk it & get a laugh,than to take the time to check actual facts.

Take PTI or Tom Green, much easier for them to use words they've heard elsewhere like "human cock fighting", than to do some good honest homework on the subject they discuss on their show.


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Sep 10, 2003 | 6:46 PM

i dont watch pti anymore

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: Mix6APlix (27807)
On: Sep 12, 2003 | 8:56 PM

Yeah, I heard John Ritter was training hard for his NHB fight with Johnny "The Man In Black" Cash.


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Sep 13, 2003 | 3:46 PM

RIP to the man in black

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


By: airmike007 (235)
On: Sep 13, 2003 | 3:47 PM

rip alex gong

--
dlh is the real champ at 154 and mosely is just another paper champ.

3 years high school wrestling 179lbs
3 years GFT training
trained by former worldclass boxer bonecrusher smith
82ND airborne paratrooper
sawgunner in the U.S army infantry
served 6 months in iraq with confirmed kills

I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!


By: whitfield (24462)
On: Sep 14, 2003 | 12:35 PM

knew somebody was going to have to ruin it

--
Jacob Whitfield
Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Goldsboro, NC
www.trianglejj.com
www.myspace.com/trianglejiujitsuacademy


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