(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.