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Injuries

UFC Injuries by the Numbers: When is the “Danger Zone”?

Iain MacMillan

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Injuries are a part of each and every sport out there, but the world of Mixed Martial Arts seems to get affected by them the most. It’s become all too common that a fight card will be put together that is filled to the brim with delicious hype and intriguing matchups only to be dismantled at the hands of the injury bug by the time the events is upon us. With fights being cancelled on us from all directions, is there a time that we can feel safe and secure that a fight won’t be pulled?

To answer that we looked at every fight that was cancelled due to injury in 2014 and up to June 6th of this year and calculated the amount of days before the scheduled bout that the fight was called off. We created this nifty infographic to display our results:

infograph2

There are a few very interesting statistics to note:

– The magic number is 26. The average amount of days before a scheduled bout that it is cancelled due to injury, as well as the amount of days before a scheduled bout that had the most cancellations was 26. You can start to feel a LITTLE BIT more comfortable about a scheduled fight happening each day after the “26 days away” mark.

– 6 bouts were cancelled on the day of the weigh-ins due to weight cutting issues. Another sign that fighters should start to get away from extreme weight cuts.

-2 weeks before a scheduled bout is the “danger zone”, as it sees the more cancellations than any other week before a fight. You can start to feel VERY comfortable about a fight happening if it makes it past this final stretch

-Right around 50% of cancelled bouts happen in the 2-4 weeks range. Fighters generally have an 8 week camp to get ready for a fight, which means a good portion of injuries come in the last 2 weeks of hard camp before they ease down for the final week before the fight. Is this a sign that fighters camps are too long and/or too strenuous? If their camps were shorter, or if they trained lighter, is it possible that the amount of injuries during the last few weeks before the fight dwindle down?

It’s clear that injuries are a real problem for the sport of MMA for many reasons, and it is something that needs to be looked at as fight cards are consistently being watered down due to a consistent barrage of injuries. Accidents happen and people get hurt, but 169 cancelled bouts over less than 18 months is a little bit more than fans of the fight game want to tolerate.

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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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