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UCMMA, BAMMA and Cage Warriors join forces for SAFE MMA fighter-safety project

U.K. Mixed Martial Arts has just taken a big step towards improving fighter safety as The Centre of Health and Human Performance launch their non-profit organisation SAFE MMA. U.K. promotions Cage Warriors, BAMMA and UCMMA have united to help found the project and have agreed that from 1st January 2013 all fighters on their cards must be registered to SAFE MMA.

The new organisation has been formed to help improve the safety of MMA fighters in the U.K. by giving them access to a medical centre that provides a secure, centralized and confidential database for fighter medical records; and coordinates affordable, standardized blood and medical tests for all registered fighters.

“It’s been a long time in the making, but at last steps are being made to make MMA safe in this country. Fighters want it, trainers want it and so do promotions: SAFE MMA is the best thing to happen for this sport for years.” – Director of UCMMA, Dave O’Donnell.

All fighters registered with SAFE MMA will be required to undergo annual medical tests and bi-annual blood tests. The promotions have agreed only to use fighters that are deemed medically safe to fight under the SAFE MMA (green light) system and not to use fighters that are suspended due to injuries, such as concussion, or who are overdue for blood tests, for example.

“BAMMA is really proud to be on board with SAFE MMA. The launch of this project marks a major step forward for MMA in this country as different promotions have at last come together to focus on the wider issues affecting the sport. One thing we all have in common is a concern for the medical safety of athletes.” – BAMMA VP of Talent Relations, Jude Samuel.

The annual registration fees for fighters (£235 + GP medical), fighters’ gyms (£60 – £240) and new promotions (£600) cover the running costs of the project, which is not for profit; and annual accounts will be published publicly on the SAFE MMA website. All other U.K. promotions will be able to apply for Safe MMA membership.

“This initiative is a huge step in the right direction for MMA in the UK. The sport in this country is still in its infancy to an extent so we at Cage Warriors welcome the introduction of SAFE MMA and we’re very pleased to be involved.” – Cage Warrior’s director, Graham Boylan.

The British Medical Association wants to ban MMA, but the new SAFE MMA project will enable medical research into fighter safety, injuries, rehabilitation and performance. This information will allow MMA promotions to draw on statistical information from the SAFE MMA database to show that appropriate safety measures were in place when an accident or fatality occurs at an event. It will also allow The Centre of Health and Human Performance at 76 Harley Street, London to speak out in defense of SAFE MMA promotions and help prevent the sport from being banned in the U.K.

SAFE MMA is run on a voluntary basis, headed by leading experts from the world of Sports Medicine. Also, MMA advisors to the project include top world ranked Flyweight fighter and osteopath, Dr. Rosi Sexton and internationally renowned referee, Marc Goddard.

For more information on the SAFE MMA project please visit: www.76harleystreet.com

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  • John Gardner

    So an organisation set up by and funded by the MMA industry is going to provide unbiased information regarding the safety and medical situations of fighters. Or are they going to provide, as quoted
    ” This information will allow MMA promotions to draw on statistical information from the SAFE MMA database to show that appropriate safety measures were in place when an accident or fatality occurs at an event. It will also allow The Centre of Health and Human Performance at 76 Harley Street, London to speak out in defense of SAFE MMA promotions and help prevent the sport from being banned in the U.K”.
    Not unbiased investigation of what happenend but to show that measures were in place, irrespective of the facts.
    British, Australian, Canadian medical Associations amongst many others want a ban on MMA, especially as there are moves in all those Countries to involve kids in cage fighting promotions.
    Dana White of UFC has endorsed kid cage fights, Randy Couture and Bas Rutten (who boasts of splitting an opponenents liver in a fight) organised a kid (12 & 13 year old) fight in California with head punches to grounded opponent and neither child was allowed to wear head protection. no head guards. So much for child safety when MMA promoters want to turn a profit.
    Now let’s see if you have the guts to print this. Though I doubt you have the backbone for the challenge, so much for MMA being for hard men.

  • Safe MMA

    Safe MMA has not been set up by and is not owned by members of the MMA industry. It is run by independent sports doctors at the Centre of Health and Human Performance at 76 Harley Street in London who volunteered their commitment. World renowned referee, Marc Goddard and veteran fighter and osteopath, Rosi Sexton have been advisers to the project. They have both been long time campaigners for safety in a sport that is currently unregulated in the UK. It was these two that rallied the support of three of the UK’s most influential promotions; and it was this group that provided invaluable advice to 76 Harley Street.

    Safe MMA is for adult and professional fighters and is a first step in many that need to be made to make the sport safe. The doctors at 76 Harley Street are contributing their time voluntarily as they see it as part of their duty of care.

    Gathering statistics will help research into the safety and health risks of the sport so appropriate measures can be taken. The current safety measures required by Safe MMA are based on the Amateur Boxing Association measures and designed by the Chief Medical Officer for the Commonwealth Games. It will of course be of benefit to promotions to demonstrate that they are taking the best safety measures that they can.

    You share the concerns of many that while the sport is unregulated, irresponsible individuals will be able to arrange unsafe fights. This is why it’s essential that regulations are introduced and why Safe MMA backs the fledgling UK MMA Federation. Safe MMA makes just a small step, but surely a step in the right direction; and by bringing ‘rival’ promotions together lays the foundation to tackle many issues around the sport.

    As with boxing, people may or may not like MMA, but since it exists no one can reasonably argue against any efforts to make it safer.

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