Study Shows MMA Fighters Have Higher Risk of TBI Than Boxers

By Peter DePaolis

According to, a study performed by University of Toronto researchers has revealed that mixed martial arts fighters are at a higher risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI) than boxers, or other martial arts fighters.

The study, which looked at MMA fights from 2006 to 2012, found that fighters were hit for an additional 3.5 seconds after being knocked out, which comes out to almost three more punches. The research also found that in fights that ended with a technical knockout, the loser was usually hit more than 18 times, with 92 percent of those blows going to the head.

“Given that participation at amateur levels of the sport is growing rapidly, we expect to see high rates of traumatic brain injuries at more junior levels of amateur competition,” the researchers concluded. “These points strongly argue for banning the sport in youth and for preventive strategies to reduce the burden of traumatic brain injuries in professional MMA fighters who elect to fight.”

The researchers suggested further training for referees to be able to detect signs of a concussion earlier, and also a mandatory 10-second count evaluation, which is common practice in boxing.

Coping With a TBI? Get Medical Attention Immediately

As injury attorney William Lightfoot discusses in the video below, immediately after sustaining an injury like a TBI, the most important thing to do is get medical attention. No matter what rehabilitation, the high financial burden is always a factor, and no family should have to foot the bill for someone else’s mistake.

If you feel that your TBI was due to the negligence of another person, you should contact an injury attorney to assist you in recovering compensation for your injury. For 30 years our firm has successfully obtained monetary compensation on behalf of individuals who have been injured or killed due to the negligence of others.

Did You Know: According to the study, concussion rates in MMA are greater than both hockey and football.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.