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Mandated Pre-Fight MMA Medical Testing Catches Another Potentially Tragic Injury

(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.

Cagepotato Comments

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VegasDirt- April 13, 2011 at 8:43 am
star athletes***
VegasDirt- April 13, 2011 at 8:42 am
I had this happen to me playing football in high school. I was the one who ended up taking myself to the doctor because I felt nauseous, the fing trainer didn't listen to my complaints and focused on the star athletics injuries instead. If I didn't do something and listened to that fool I'd be dead. So if it means anything: you got high school sports beat MMA!!. haha... yea not that noteworthy i guess.
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Bob Reilly- April 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm
What caused his brain to bleed???? Human cockfighting!
CungwantsCookies- April 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm
@jim-a good friend/coworker of mine had the same condition as alves. totally random. not that these guys dont all face a high risk of chronic brain injury later in life. me, i chose to injure my brain with the chronic.
jimbonics- April 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Way to take the wind out of my sails, Corporal Buzzkill. Throwin' around facts and shit...
Mike Russell- April 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm
@jimbonics: Foster's bleed could have been a result of a number of things including high blood pressure.

Alves' condition was a genetic one. He had a vein that had become fused to the arterial wall of a neighboring artery. The doctors said the problem wasn't caused by head trauma.

If his condition wasn't caught, it could have led to an aneurism.
jimbonics- April 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm
“The testing fighters go through to be able to fight is better than it is in any other sport. If I weren't a fighter If GSP hadn't thoroughly beat my ass for five rounds, I never would have had a CT scan, which means I never would have known that I had this problem,” Alves explained.
Serioulsy though. Let's not act like these conditions weren't likely brought on from being an MMA fighter in the first place.
Get Off Me- April 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm
All the best moving forward Mr.Foster.
Another positive out of a negative here is that you can go bet Pierson to win against the late replacement.
Mike Russell- April 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm
Yeah Rex. Why don't you run and tell that to Bob Reilly.
ReX13- April 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm
Didn't he lose a nut as well?
Fried Taco- April 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm
They tried to do an MRI on Tito Ortiz once, but his head won't fit in the machine.
ExpectJesusBro- April 12, 2011 at 11:53 am
LOKI- April 12, 2011 at 11:52 am
Well, thats one for socialist medicine. Suck it Brock....I guess.
frndlylion- April 12, 2011 at 11:51 am
My mom suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm in 1993. She is lucky to be alive.