How Exactly Does Striking “Impact” Fighters?

We have all seen fighters get bruised, bloodied and beaten in the octagon but how does striking affect them during and after the fight? It’s an age old but great question. The core of any fight, no matter how much time is spent on the ground, is striking. To make things even more complex, the strikes come in all forms and from all angles – jabs, punches, kicks, hammer fists, elbows, knees and more. So, how does all this add up and what does it add up to?
 
Recently, more emphasis has been put on striking in the UFC because the UFC knows that’s what the audience wants – more action. You see less strategic ground work and more slug fests these days. So, fighters are getting hit more and this is causing more damage, plain and simple. You can see the long term affects of enduring too many strikes by looking at boxers years after they are retired. Many of them are a shell, both physically and mentally, of what they used to be. Just look at the final years of Muhammad Ali’s life – it was hard to watch at many times. That being said, MMA allows a lot more breaks from being struck than boxing does where you just stand in the ring for twelve rounds and punch each other in the head over and over. Today’s biggest risk for MMA fighters are concussions especially if it becomes the norm and they begin not to notice the symptoms any more, the result can be potentially fatal.
 
On the other hand, a fighter could start to experience post concussion syndrome where all of the symptoms like dizziness, headaches and so on will seemingly never go away. These post concussion problems can manifest in even worse ways as well. Fighters can become susceptible to being knocked out much easier, they can lose their sharpness in basic functioning like speaking, and worst of all they can end up with CTE which is like Alzheimer’s but not treatable or detectable.
 
What preventative steps can be taken to ensure fighters don’t suffer these consequences during or after their career? The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. The easiest one, and the most “pass the buck” type of solution, is to expect a higher standard of defense from fighters with less emphasis on getting into slugfests. Other solutions could include the future use of more protective gloves and even head gear – it may not look cool but it could potentially save lives.
 

C.M. Punks Grappling Is All Smoke And Mirrors

The proof was in the pudding at UFC 203 on September 10th. C.M. Punk is not ready for an all out MMA fight as he lost in convincing fashion. His stand up offense and defense was fair at best but his ground game was miserably bad. Many had heard and thought going into the bout that C.M. Punk’s biggest asset was his grappling but, as it turned out, it was the worst part of his fight game. He did endure about two minutes on the ground but all that turned out to be was just a testament to his will rather than his grappling skills. He was maliciously pounded and did no damage to his opponent himself until the fight was finally called over and done with.
 
Many are wondering where this leaves C.M. Punk’s future now that he was border-line embarrassed. In the end, that is entirely up to him. He did show he was conditioned enough for a fight and did show enough promise that he might put a better effort forth in a future fight. That alone is enough for the UFC to give him another shot at fighting because of the cult viewership he commands from the WWE crowds. Will he want to actually fight again? No one can be sure. The only thing we can be sure of after a fight like this is that for such a short bout C.M. Punk was rewarded handsomely with a purse clocking in at a half million bucks – not bad for getting your ass kicked!
 

Cerrone VS Gastelum: A Big Fight In The Big Apple

UFC 205 in New York is finally starting to shape up. One notable fight on the card will now be Donald Cerrone versus Kelvin Gastelum. The fight will take place at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, in New York but most importantly it will be the first ever UFC event held in New York. The fight itself was originally supposed to feature Robbie Lawler but after Lawler pulled out it will now feature Kevin Gastelum instead.
 
He will meet a very tough opponent in Cerrone who is enjoying being in the middle of a hot streak. He has earned consecutive wins against Alex Oliveira, Patrick Cote and Rick Story after moving up to welterweight earlier in the year. Gastelum is no scrub himself coming off a massive victory against Johny Hendricks at UFC 200. It is safe to say this will easily be the biggest bout for each fighter to date.
 
The fight itself will be widely watched and anticipated as it is expected to tell the world a lot about the future of the welterweight division. This is the third bout for UFC 205 to be announced so far after Evans VS Kennedy and Alves VS Iaquinta. More fights are expected to be announced soon.

NY Boxing Title Fights Are In Trouble Thanks To MMA

Mixed martial arts were just legalized in New York a few weeks ago and already having far reaching effects. Some, however, aren’t so good. Part of the legalization of MMA entailed that insurance costs and coverage for combat sports would increase five fold. Due to this many promoters have said on the record that they can no longer afford the insurance bond and will take their business outside of the state.
 
New York has already lost one title fight to Pennsylvania because of the issue. With the high likelyhood of a massive success for the UFC’s first New York bouts in early November there is no end in sight for the higher insurance costs. This likely means lower to mid-level title fights will be held in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut from now on with New York only holding prime level title fights that are able to easily recoup any lost insurance costs.
 
No comment has been made by the WBC or UFC at this time.