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Tag: brain trauma

Today in Head Trauma: Gray Maynard Signs 8-Fight Extension, Jens Pulver Unretires AGAIN + More


(Woah, hold on a second, Nate. We both see those tiny Christina Aguilera monsters scurrying around on the canvas, right? Photo via Getty.) 

Thanks in part to Joe Rogan’s heartfelt and brutally honest call for UFC heavyweight and close friend Brendan Schaub to retire, head trauma has once again been thrust into the limelight of the MMA blogosphere (along with, you know, that multimillion dollar lawsuit thingy). And honestly, it’s a difficult discussion to have when the people calling for so-and-so’s retirement are the very same who have a good chuckle every time some dude gets felled like a oak tree. If we tune in each weekend with the expectation (and dare I say it, hope) of seeing a fighter get his lights turned off, then who are we to tell them when *we’ve* grown tired of seeing it happen?

Look no further than the case of Gray Maynard, for instance. Just a few years ago, Maynard was considered to be one of the toughest fighters in the lightweight division — a man who was just barely edged by Frankie Edgar after inflicting some trauma of his own on the former champ. In the time since, “The Bully” has dropped four out of his past five contests, with every last one of those losses coming via an increasingly difficult to watch form of TKO.

The cries for Maynard to simply give up on his dream and retire have grown louder with each skull-shattering loss, but the TUF 5 alum has refused to hear them. In a move that is sure to draw the same cringeworthy reaction from those critics, Maynard recently signed an eight fight extension with the UFC that will most certainly account for a couple more black spots on his brain in the not-so-distant future.

After the jump: More details on Maynard’s eight-fight deal. Plus, Pat Barry goes on the defensive (no!), and Jens Pulver unretires again (NOOOO!!!!).

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Tragically Enough, Junior Maranhao Defends Those Who Failed Him During RFA 14

By Seth Falvo

MMA fighters are supposed to be tough. They’re supposed to Face the Pain, Never Back Down, Go Out on Their Shields, and embody every Gatorade commercial cliche you can think of. They’re supposed to believe that they’re indestructible, partly because they’ve been told their entire lives that they’re damn near invincible.

Which is all to say that most of us weren’t surprised when flyweight Junior Maranhao — despite falling off of his stool between the fourth and fifth rounds of his title fight at RFA 14 and needing his coaches to revive him — made the decision to answer the bell for round five. Professional fighters are rarely the best judges of their own mortality, making objective parties such as coaches, referees and cageside physicians all the more necessary to save a fighter from excessive damage; this makes it all the more disturbing when these parties are as reckless as they were at RFA 14, and when the Wyoming State Board of MMA refused to acknowledge that there even was anything wrong with the way that this match was handled (much to the shock of the Association of Boxing Commissions).

There have already been countless articles scorning the coaches, the referee and the cageside physicians who allowed Junior Maranhao to continue fighting. There have also been just as many articles scorning the Wyoming State Board of MMA for encouraging the exact things that athletic commissions are supposed to protect our sport from. But lost in our collective outrage is perhaps the biggest tragedy to come from this incident: that Junior Maranhao is still willfully ignorant to the fact that he was in any danger at all during RFA 14. In fact, Maranhao has gone as far as to defend the very people who failed him that night.

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Human Cockfighting Alert: A Fighter Was Allowed to Continue After Collapsing In His Corner [UPDATED]


(Screencap via Deadpsin)

We’re sure you’ve heard all about it by now, but this issue warrants covering by every MMA media outlet around.

At yesterday’s RFA 14, flyweight fighter Junior Maranhao blacked out in his corner between the fourth and fifth rounds.

Did his corner stop the fight?

No.

Did the doctor stop the fight?

No.

Did the referee stop the fight?

No.

The man fell unconscious on the floor (he was out cold) and the fight was allowed to continue. Here’s a GIF (via Zombie Prophet):

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Why Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Happen


(The Mir-Overeem preview segment from ‘Countdown to UFC 169′. Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

By Adam Ackerman

This weekend’s UFC 169 card looks to be an entertaining night for MMA fans, featuring Renan Barao defending his now-official bantamweight championship against Urijah Faber, and a chance to (possibly) see Jose Aldo get a decent stand-up test against Ricardo Lamas. It is the next match up — Frank Mir vs Alistair Overeem — that makes me cringe.

Why do I cringe? Because I fear what the future holds for both of these men. Mir is coming off of three losses, including two by violent TKOs. Overeem is in a similar boat, having been put to sleep in his last two fights. When you look further back, even more red flags can be found. Out of the eight losses that appear on Frank Mir’s MMA record, seven have been by some form of knockout. It gets even worse for Alistair, who has lost by KO or TKO 11 times between his MMA and kickboxing careers.

Based on what we now know about head trauma in MMA, it’s safe to assume that both fighters have suffered at least some level of brain injury, which means they could be in for an incredibly wide array of consequences. Depending on the area of trauma and severity, either fighter could suffer cognitive, physiological, emotional, psychological, and behavioral changes. Basic physical functions like hand-eye coordination can also be affected, making those devastating strikes even harder to avoid. And the damage does not end there.

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A Survivor in a Dangerous Game, GSP Finds the Exit Before It’s Too Late


(After 11 years in a sport marked by physical trauma, emotional turmoil, and financial misdealings, St-Pierre is beaten, but not broken. / Photo via Getty)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Last Friday, Georges St-Pierre confirmed what has been suspected since his emotional post-fight speech at UFC 167 — that he is vacating the UFC welterweight title. Some are calling it a temporary hiatus, others see GSP as being permanently retired. Either way, the manner in which these events have transpired is a worthy story in itself.

The key to understanding the way St-Pierre has conducted himself, both inside and outside the Octagon, goes back to his earliest origins growing up in the rural area of St. Isidore, Quebec, Canada:

“I went to a school where it was pretty rough — I’d get my clothes stolen, my cash. And at home life was pretty hard too. I had a difficult childhood,” said St-Pierre to an interviewer in 2006.

The upshot of these challenges translated into the single quality that defines GSP to this day — his relentless desire to please everybody around him. Not only was St-Pierre an absolute perfectionist with respect to his performance as a fighter, but he actively sought to cultivate positive relationships with all of the people he crossed paths with in life.

In a non-corporate environment, that character trait might have gone over better. In the shark tank of pimps, hustlers and thieves who infest the fight game, it made St-Pierre an easy mark for managers who felt entitled to take his money.

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Friday Link Dump: Why the UFC’s 205-Pound Division Is in Trouble, Why Giorgio Petrosyan Is the Best, Bacon Recipes + More


(Eddie Alvarez drops some truth about “The Knockout Game.” / Props: Jamie Alvarez via Reddit)

The UFC’s Light Heavyweight Division Is in Disarray and Showing Little Sign of Improvement (BloodyElbow)

Ricardo Lamas Betrays All New Yorkers, Claims Sbarro Has The Best Pizza (Fightlinker)

What Does MMA Do to the Human Brain? One Study Searches for Answers (MMAJunkie)

The Finest Striker on the Planet: Giorgio Petrosyan (BleacherReport)

Holy crap. This is the most hardcore loss-prevention policy I’ve ever seen. (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

UFC President Dana White Returns to Boxing With ‘The Fighters’ (MMAFighting)

The 20 Best Bacon Recipes Ever (HiConsumption)

Heisman Horrors: 10 Sketchy Winners (MadeMan)

NBA Coaches and Their Hip-Hop Producer Equivalents (Complex)

20 Ghetto Fabulous Glamour Shots (WorldWideInterweb)

Norman Reedus: The Walking Man (MensFitness)

Hotties in the Wild (DoubleViking)

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If TJ Grant Is Still Suffering Concussion Symptoms, Why Would Anybody Hope for His Return?


(Photo via Getty)

It’s hard not to root for TJ Grant. Here’s a guy who reached the highest level of the sport through talent and hard work alone. He never trash-talked his way into big fights. He wasn’t a good-looking poster boy who was given an easy road by promoters. He’s not known for flashy kicks and sharp grooming. He entered what is arguably the most competitive division in all of mixed martial arts, beat the crap out of five consecutive opponents, and managed to stay humble.

Following his savage first-round TKO of Gray Maynard at UFC 160, Grant was promised a lightweight title shot against then-champ Benson Henderson, but withdrew from the fight due to a concussion suffered during a grappling session, of all things. Anthony Pettis took his spot and made the most of the opportunity. And though we all assumed that Grant would get the first crack at Pettis’s belt, Grant couldn’t commit to a fight because of lingering concussion symptoms.

So here we are in November, four months after Grant first made his concussion public, and he still hasn’t completely cleared the cobwebs. As reported on last night’s episode of UFC Tonight, Grant’s health remains less than 100%, and he’s unsure when he’ll be able to return to competition. MMAFighting passes along more details:

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