Fighting inside the UFC cage always puts you at risk of injury, and the same is true during training.
But what are the most common injuries and injuries for fighters?
Mixed martial arts is an inherently dangerous sport considering that the intention is to inhibit your opponent through blows, suffocation or joint levers.
Whereas UFC fighters will be exposed to such a high volume of trauma, which areas are the areas with the highest risk of injury?
The UFC Performance Institute has made a ranking of all injuries that UFC fighters have suffered(at least all of the injuries that have been reported).
Areas with the highest probability of injury:
1 – Head / Face: 77.8
2 – Wrists / Hands: 19.5
3 – Knee: 15.6
4 – Feet: 10.7
5 – Shoulders: 9.7
6 – Lower leg: 5.3
7 – Elbow: 4.8
Ps. This list includes injuries sustained during a fight and in training.
Strike techniques have the highest risk of injury: 36.5 of all injuries are related to strokes (training and combatants) and 64.9 of injuries during a fight is related to the blow.
Anderson Silva’s incredible injury to Weidman, who on a low kick parried internally by the American athlete “gets” the net fracture of the tibia and fibula.
As for grappling and fighting phases,when an injury happens from takedown and grappling tend to be the most serious.
Usually when you are already on the ground, accidents are greatly reduced apart from rare cases where the leveraged athlete refuses to beat and do
as in the case of Minotauro Nogeira with Frank Mir or he lets himself faint rather than beat sometimes trying to the last an exit.
Injuries resulting from a takedown on average take 112 days to recover from injury compared to an average of 129-day grappling-related injuries to fully recover.
The face and head
Given the high percentage I want to take a detail about the most affected area.
The area with the highest probability of injury: Head/Face. 77.8 of all accidents that occurred.
Category of head/face injuries:
1️ Fractures: 31
2️ Laceration / Abrasion: 28
3️ Bruises / Hematoma: 22
4️ Organic Damage: 10 (probable eye injury)
5️ Unspecified facial pain: 6
6️ Concussion/Brain Injury: 3rd
Personally I think this is much lower than you imagine, I suppose this number may represent post-concussion syndrome (persistent effects) instead of an acute concussion. I can only report the data listed by the UFCPI.
Reference: A cross-sectional performance analysis and UFC athlete projection. UFC Performance Institute.
A recent case
While he is no longer a UFC athlete and therefore is not in the statistics, a recent example of facial injury concerns the former UFC veteran, @supersagenorthcutt.
During his debut in @onechampionship Northcutt punched him in the face that resulted in eight fractures in various bones in his face.
This injury required 9 hours of operation.
In cases such as those of Northcutt, orbital fractures can be very severe, as this injury can also affect the optic nerve, nerves that innervate the face, the breasts/ tear ducts and the muscles surrounding the eye.
If not treated properly an injury of this importance can alter his eye movements, the sensation of his face and the position of the seat of the eye.
Anyone who has known Sage knows that he is a very humble, respectful fighter and a true gentleman who has a speedy recovery.
While for those watching combat it is exciting, for athletes there can be real consequences.
Even if it’s a sport, it’s still combat, and if the protections and regulations have evolved it’s not a game anyway, the shots are real and at full power.