UFC President Dana White says brain injury is “just part of the gig” for those who compete in combat sports like mixed martial arts.
Brain injury has been a widely discussed topic inside the MMA bubble this year. Earlier this month, the UFC donated $1 million to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Then, earlier this week, MMA Fighting published an in-depth long-form article on UFC veteran Spencer Fisher’s struggle with CTE. In the article, Fisher detailed problems with dizzy spells, reduced motor function, memory loss, depression, and more. He and his wife also discussed their struggle to find and pay for the treatment he needs.
Speaking ahead of the UFC’s upcoming three-event stint on Fight Island, White was asked about Spenser’s battle with CTE. He noted that the promotion recently donated to brain research, and asserted that conditions like CTE are simply part of the sport. He also claimed to be dealing with brain issues of his own, ostensibly stemming from his previous boxing training.
“Listen, we’re all learning every day about the brain injury stuff,” White said (via MMA Junkie). “We’ve been investing in this (Lou) Ruvo Center to try to figure out more. We’re now interested (about) this thing just came out on ‘Real Sports’ about psychedelics, and we’ve actually reached out to the Johns Hopkins guys, and we’re diving into that.
“But listen, (Fisher)’s not the first, and he’s definitely not going to be the last,” White added. “This is a contact sport, and everybody who’s ever done this (while) younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s just part of the gig.”
What do you think of this comment from UFC President Dana White? Do you think he and the UFC could be doing more to take care of their fighters in life after competition? Let us know your thoughts on the issue in the comments section below.