(Lucky for Foster, the OAC is dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.)
With as much rhetoric opponents of mixed martial arts spew about how unsafe and barbaric the sport is, you would think that the number of fighters dying from MMA-related injuries would vastly outweigh the number of fighters who have been saved from potentially tragic circumstances by the sport.
Well, you can chalk another one up for the good guys.
According to MMAJunkie, an Ontario Athletic Commission-mandated MRI has revealed a dangerous brain abnormality in UFC welterweight Brian Foster that has forced him out of his upcoming UFC 129 bout with Sean Pierson, but more importantly may have saved his life.
“A blood vessel broke open, started bleeding, and turned into a brain hemorrhage,” Foster’s HIT Squad coach Marc Fiore said of the injury. “Our doctor and the UFC doctor said they won’t clear him to fight. It should heal on its own, and if it’s good, he’s cleared to fight. If not, then we have to obviously (look at surgical options).”
The injury itself is not necessarily dangerous, but if the problem was not caught prior to the bout, further damage to the affected area could have caused serious complications or been fatal. The funny thing is, there has been a lot of criticism by promoters and fighters seeking a license in Ontario about how thorough the requirements set forth by the province are, but it’s unlikely that there will be many complaints now.
Nearly a year ago, the same medical test caught a similar issue in Thiago Alves‘ brain and had the irregularity not been caught, doctors said serious complications could have occurred.
Alves, who underwent successful surgery to repair the genetic abnormality last year and has since returned to the Octagon told us last April that he hoped his ordeal would help plead the case that MMA is safe if regulated and controlled properly following the medical and officiating guidelines set forth by the Association of Boxing Commissions.
“The testing fighters go through to be able to fight is better than it is in any other sport. If I wasn’t a fighter, I never would have had a CT scan, which means I never would have known that I had this problem,” Alves explained. “We’re professional athletes and the commissions that regulate MMA treat us like any other sport, because we are professionals. Maybe my story will change the minds of some of the people who are misinformed.”
Somehow, we doubt it. Especially when opponents of the sport like Bob Reilly tend to spin the positives of the sport into negatives to suit their agendas.