“Anybody Who’s Ever Done This Younger, Myself Included, Is Dealing With Brain Issues” – Dana White’s Cold Response to Spencer Fisher’s CTE Struggles

Published 02/15/2022, 8:28 AM EST

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MMA can be a brutal sport. While fans enjoy a vicious knockout or a great submission, they rarely witness what takes place backstage. Fighters are vulnerable to CTE or brain injury because of eating tons of punches and kicks. There are many MMA fighters who have suffered from ‘Chronic traumatic encephalopathy’.

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One such fighter is UFC’s, Spencer Fisher. In a heartbreaking interview with MMA Fighting about a year ago, the retired athlete talked about the symptoms he was experiencing as well as the impact they had on his life.

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Previously, Dana White had spoken about the problems Fisher was experiencing. White said, “He’s not the first, and he’s definitely not going to be the last. This is a contact sport and anybody who’s ever done this younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s a part of the gig”.

“We’ve been invested in this Ruvo Center (for Brain Health) to find out more… This thing came out on Real Sports about psychedelics and we’ve actually reached out to the John Hopkins guys and we’re diving into that.”

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While the UFC President gave a solution-focused answer on how the promotion was taking the necessary steps, fans did not like that White showed no empathy to Fisher.

More on Dana White and the Ruvo Center

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Back in January 2021, ESPN reported that the UFC donated an extra $1 million to the center to conduct brain research. The Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is in Las Vegas. They are dedicated to the cause of understanding ‘Professional Athletes Brain Health Study’. They have been doing so for at least ten years and the UFC is one of their top contributors.

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As of 2021, 100 UFC fighters have been a part of the study. The study aspired to develop a brain exam that could give insights on which fighter is vulnerable to developing CTE. UFC COO Lawrence Epstein wants such an exam to be an integral part of the UFC. He said, “We want this type of analysis to be a key part of the regulation of combat sports. This is not about diagnosing injury. This is about preventing injury from taking place.”

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So with the promotion taking such an initiative, one can hope that current and future fighters do not have to face off with CTE or brain injuries.

Watch this story: Five Potential Opponents For Israel Adesanya After His Victory Over Robert Whittaker At UFC 271

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Written by:

Rohini Kottu

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Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.
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