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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

NO HOLDS BARRED: Dr. Gregory Bledsoe on Injuries and Fighter Safety in Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing 

There are those in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) who have asserted for some time that MMA is a safer sport than boxing. There are those in the world of boxing and elsewhere who have asserted that MMA is inherently so dangerous that it should be banned. Until now, there has been scant scientific research if any to back up either proposition.

A major start to using science, research, and reason to examine the issue of safety and injuries in the combat sports has been taken with the recent publication of the study "Incidence of Injury in Professional Mixed Martial Arts Competitions". The findings in this study appear in the July 2006 edition of the "Journal of Sports Science and Medicine", which is a special issue devoted entirely to the combat sports.

The study was conducted by Gregory H. Bledsoe, Edbert B. Hsu, Jurek George Grabowski, Justin D. Brill and Guohua Li. The lead author, Dr. Bledsoe, is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He also knows something of the combat sports first-hand, as he has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the past three years.

The study relied on data compiled from all professional MMA matches in the state of Nevada from September 2001 until December 2004, a total of 171 matches in all. Its results may surprise you, no matter what your take on these issues.

The table of contents and links to the abstracts, full text, and PDF versions of all articles in this issue can be seen here.

For the study on injuries in MMA, the abstract is here.

The full text is here.

The full article, including tables, in a PDF file is here.

On this week's edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, host Eddie Goldman, speaks with Gregory Bledsoe about this important study and its findings.

Dr. Bledsoe can be contacted by e-mail at gbledso1@mac.com and gbledso1@jhmi.edu.

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