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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Jay Cee – The MMA Review