The UFC announced on Thursday that it has contributed a one million dollar donation towards brain research with the Cleveland Clinic.
The one million dollar donation is set to help fund brain studies over the next five years with the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. According to ESPN.com, the Cleveland Clinic has been working on the in-depth Professional Athletes Brain Health Study for a decade, and the UFC has been right there with them every step of the way. According to the report, the UFC has donated over two million dollars over three rounds of support.
The study the Cleveland Clinic is doing is to help learn about the long-term effects of blows to the head and brain trauma, as well as trying to determine any other risk factors that would make a fighter be more likely to get chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). According to ESPN’s report, over 100 current and retired UFC fighters have already taken part in the research for the study.
UFC COO Lawrence Epstein provided a quote about the donation, stating: “We want this type of analysis to be a key part of the regulation of combat sports. This is not about diagnosing injury; this is about preventing injury from taking place.”
Brain injuries in sports are something that became a major talking point over the last 20 years or so, but especially in the last decade with the advent of new technology. We’ve seen many athletes in more established sports like American football, hockey, boxing, and professional wrestling be diagnosed with brain trauma, but up until now, we haven’t known much about MMA because it’s still a relatively new sport. With this study, we are learning more.
The UFC and the Cleveland Clinic hope that the results of the study help them determine which athletes could be at greater risk of a serious brain injury and to prevent those injuries. The report also notes that other promotions such as Bellator, Top Rank, and Golden Boy have also contributed to the studies.