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Sports Health. 2017 Jan/Feb;9(1):64-69. doi: 10.1177/1941738116664860. Epub 2016 Aug 20.

Injuries Sustained by the Mixed Martial Arts Athlete.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
2
Andrews Research & Education Foundation, Gulf Breeze, Florida.
3
Action Sports Orthopaedics, San Francisco, California.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is rapidly growing in popularity in the United States and abroad. This combat sport joins athletes from a wide variety of martial art disciplines, each with characteristic and distinguishing injury profiles, together in competition. Because of increasing participation by professionals and amateurs alike, injuries sustained by MMA athletes have been on the rise.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:

A review of relevant publications using the search term mixed martial arts and each of its component combat sports (eg, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu) from 1980 through 2015 was completed using PubMed and Google Scholar.

STUDY DESIGN:

Clinical review.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level 5.

RESULTS:

The majority of studies on MMA injuries evaluate those sustained during competition, which range in incidence from 22.9 to 28.6 per 100 fight-participations. Striking-predominant disciplines such as boxing, karate, and Muay Thai have high rates of head and facial injuries, whereas submission-predominant disciplines such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, and wrestling have high rates of joint injuries.

CONCLUSION:

Numerous studies have evaluated injuries in athletes who participate in MMA and its component disciplines during competition but much remains to be discovered about injuries sustained during training and in specific patient populations such as adolescents and women.

KEYWORDS:

MMA; clinical review; combat sport; training injury

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