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Injuries

MMA Gloves Produced 4-5 Times Greater Peak Force And 5 Times Faster Load Rate Compared To The Boxing Glove

Iain MacMillan

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The build and shape of the gloves worn by fighters has been a hot topic among MMA fans for as long as the sport has been in existence. Different organizations have tried different styles, with all of them striving for a glove that gives the athlete grappling abilities while also protecting their hands from damage. Being able to keep an athlete from eye poking their opponent, whether it be accidental or on purpose, is another component that a lot of people look for in a well designed MMA glove. But what about the lack of protection for the opponent who is receiving the punch? Due to the fact that fighters need to grapple, the gloves are much smaller and lighter than the gloves worn by boxers. What sort of affect does this have on things like peak force (how hard one punches)?

How much damage does one receive when fighting with MMA gloves and are there better options? In a study done at the University of Waterloo, by Benjamin Lee and Stuart McGill, it was found that MMA gloves have a MUCH higher peak force than boxing gloves. They concluded that:

“MMA gloves produced 4-5 times great peak force and 5 times faster load rate compared to the boxing glove. However, MMA gloves also showed signs material fatigue, with peak force increasing by 35% and rate of loading increasing by 60% over the duration of the test. Boxing globe characteristics did deteriorate but to a lesser extent In summary, the kinetic properties of MMA glove differed substantially from the boxing glove resulting in impacts characterized by higher peak forces and more rapid development of force. Material properties including stiffness and thickness play a role in the kinetic characteristics upon impact, and can be inferred to alter injury mechanisms of blunt force trauma.”

The National Post released this graph that shows the high number of traumatic brain injuries in various sports. The key number in this graph is the lower percentage of brain injuries in boxing. Could this be due to more well-padded gloves?

While many people may think that better padded gloves are the solution to the problem, there is another option that is not usually considered. What if the fighters went back to bare knuckle brawling? Your initial thoughts on this are most likely that less protection on the hands would lead to the punches being harder, but that may not be the case.

When gloves were introduced to the UFC, fights resulting in knockout increased from 1% to 10%. This could be due to a number of factors, but it is most likely the case that if your hands aren’t protected you are most likely to throw fewer punches with less force simply due to not wanting to break your hand. It is similar to the argument that football should go back to leather helmets. Protective gear can give athletes a false sense of security, and maybe if that gear is lessened or taken away they will be more aware of the potential damage. While bare knuckle brawling would make MMA even less socially accepted than what it is already, it is clear that the gloves of today have lots of room to be improved in areas of injury prevention.

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1 Comment

  1. Stephen Howson

    Stephen Howson

    January 7, 2015 at 10:43 am

    The most dangerous introduction to boxing was the glove. Makes sense. I don’t think we can remove gloves from MMA, though. It’s just a tough game and we need to be sensible in how we approach it.

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Bellator

James Gallagher out of Bellator 187 in Dublin due to injury

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Irish fans will have to wait a little longer to see James Gallagher fighting on home soil after Gallagher suffered a knee injury in preparation for his main event fight with Jeremiah Labiano in Dublin next month. This bad news was first reported by MMAFighting.com.

The 20-year-old from Strabane co. Tyrone who trains in the famous SBG gym with Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson among others has set the featherweight division alight since joining Bellator in 2016.  James “The Strabanimal” Gallagher has gone 3-0 with all three of his wins coming by rear naked choke.

After submitting Chinzo Machida, the brother of former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida in Madison Square Garden Gallagher has become a budding star for Bellator.

Due to the youngster’s attitude and potential, many comparisons between Gallagher and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor have been made by the fans and media which has made Gallagher one of Bellator’s most recognizable names. This notoriety has ultimately led to the young Irishman getting a chance to headline in Dublin this November but this injury has delayed his rise for the time being.

Gallagher on social media Thursday stated that he has suffered an injury to his PCL and LCL in his knee and would be out for the remainder of the year. He has assured fans we would return next year and carry on where he started with “The Jimmy show.”

His longtime rival AJ McKee, who has engaged in a Twitter war with Gallagher after his last fight, will now headline Bellator 187 in the 3 Arena in Dublin on November 10th against Gallagher’s SBG teammate Brian Moore. Moore will be making his third appearance for Bellator in this featherweight clash.

 

 

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Injuries

UFC 216: Paige VanZant Pulls Out of Fight with Jessica Eye

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Paige VanZant vs Ronda Rousey

The UFC 216 card looks to have suffered a major blow as Paige VanZant has been pulled from the card citing a back injury, per Ariel Helwani.

VanZant (7-3) has not fought since losing to Michelle Waterson back in December 2016 and was scheduled to make her Flyweight debut against the unranked Jessica Eye.

As of, MMA Fighting, the number 10 ranked UFC Strawweight suffered an intervertebral disc injury whilst training jiu-jitsu, and was advised by her doctor to miss training for a few weeks.

Not only is this a major blow for VanZant as she looks to regain some momentum following her last outing, but it must be considered a huge blow for the UFC as VanZant is a popular figure who can contribute significantly to the buy rate.

Eye (11-6) will also be feeling hard done by on this occasion, as this marks the second time in a row her opponent has pulled out of scheduled bout, she was looking to make things right after suffering four defeats in a row.

The injury will not require surgery so there is a possibility of rescheduling the contest for a later date, although nothing has yet been mentioned. It remains to be seen whether Eye will wait, or ask to be rescheduled with a new opponent.

UFC 216 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 7th and is headlined by Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee for the Interim Lightweight Championship, it also features UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson as he takes on Ray Borg in his record eleventh title defence.

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Injuries

Germaine de Randamie out of UFC Fight Night 115

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Former UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Germaine de Randamie has been forced out of next weeks Fight Night event in Rotterdam. The Dutch fighter was set to fight Marion Reneau in the UFC’s return to the Netherlands. The news was first reported by MMA Junkie.

‘GDR’ won the Women’s Featherweight belt back in February after beating former Women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. The kickboxer won the fight by a controversial decision after punching Holm after the bell in two rounds. Germaine also injured her hand in the fight and announced shortly after that she would need surgery. GDR never ended up getting the surgery and that same injury has now forced her out of the upcoming fight.

Germaine ended up getting her title stripped a few months later after she refused to defend the belt against the now current champion, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. She told many reporters that she considered Cyborg a cheater after she ended up failing a drug test for performance enhancing drugs. After a lot of backlash from both fans and fighters, the UFC stripped her title and made a new title fight at UFC 214 between Cyborg and Tonya Evinger. Cyborg ended up winning the fight by TKO in the 3rd round.

The UFC plan on keeping her former opponent Marion Reneau on the card and are currently searching for a replacement opponent. Reneau is currently coming off of a majority draw against Brazilian fighter Bethe Correia. Reneau’s biggest win so far in the UFC is against Jessica Andrade in a fight she won by submission via triangle choke.

The card is currently headlined by a heavyweight fight between Stefan Struve and Alexander Volkov. The card takes place on September 2nd in Rotterdam, Netherlands and will stream exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

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