Few sports have skyrocketed in popularity around the world in recent years than MMA, also known as Mixed Martial Arts. This form of professional fighting has taken the consumer sports market by storm, and what was all but unknown 15 years ago now draws millions of viewers for its biggest fights by way of pay-per-view audiences and other broadcasting outlets. The sport has captured the imagination of both young people and former boxing fans who became impatient with the problems that continue to plague that sport, and it has continued to trend upward in terms of its overall market reach.
MMA has been very well marketed to the public in many different ways. It was seen as a more 'legitimate' sport when compared to boxing. It was seen as a safer sport than boxing, as several different people associated with MMA have made the claim that no one has ever been killed while competing in an MMA ring. It was also marketed as a sport that appeals to everyone, as anyone with the desire to do so could give MMA a try to find out for themselves what it was really all about. In short, the business minds behind MMA have done a remarkable job of promoting it.However, there has been some recent news that could potentially bring MMA under scrutiny for the first time on a large scale. A recent feature published by Bleacher Report detailed the growing sense of urgency being felt by MMA officials to learn more about the potential for their fighters to suffer traumatic brain injuries as a result of suffering repeated blows to the head by way of punches, kicks, elbows and from being slammed to the mat several times during any bout.
The report indicated that researchers and neurologists in Las Vegas are currently studying traumatic brain injuries and how they may result from this form of competition. The hope is that whatever is learned through this research could lead to changes that would protect the brains of the MMA fighters who are currently competing, as the sport simply has not been around long enough to know the long-term effects of it.
To its credit, the MMA is embracing this research and has stated that it will accept recommendations that may come about as a result of this analysis. That urgency is fueled by the fact that as of now, more than 3 million children under the age of 13 are taking part in MMA in the United States alone, and another 5.5 million teenagers are also participating in the sport. These numbers are obviously encouraging for MMA but they could also lead to enormous problems if too many of them are suddenly diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.
The team at the Scarlett Law Group has been representing clients as traumatic brain injury lawyers for decades, and we have seen firsthand the type of damage that can be done because of this type of injury. We hope that this study produces tangible results and that any dangers that are discovered in MMA can be minimized.