Dana White slams NFL's procedure on concussions
Dana White has come out and made an extremely bold statement that the sport of Mixed Martial Arts is safer the the National Football League due to it's procedure on rules and safety.
White spoke at the New Media Expo earlier this week and discussed the always hot topic issue of concussions in sports:
"Concussion is a huge dilemma right now for the NFL. Here's the difference between the UFC and the NFL as far as concussions are concerned. First of all, if you get a concussion, if you get knocked out or you get hurt whatsoever in the UFC, three months suspension. You are on suspension for three months and you cannot come back until you are cleared by a doctor. You can't have any contact whatsoever. In the NFL, you're not going to lose Tom Brady for three months, man. You lose Tom Brady for three months and your whole season is wiped out. So, the UFC, listen, we don't hide from it, it's a contact sport and that's what these guys do, (is) much safer. In the 20-year history of the UFC, it will be 20-years in November, there has never been a death or a serious injury. Never been a death or serious injury in 20 years because we go above and beyond when it comes to the safety of these guys. When you know you have two healthy athletes getting ready to compete, they get the proper medical attention before and after, it's the safest sport in the world, fact."
From a distance one would think White has gone mad with this statement. A sport that features tackles with full pads covering almost every part of the human body, and state of the art helmets to protect the head compared to a sport with head kicks, knees, elbows, and fists to the skull. But upon further inspection, he is right.
Just look at former Chicago Bears quaterback Jim McMahon, who now suffers from dementia, or the countless players now suing the league for head trauma. This season alone featured over 160 cases of concussions, including Michael Vick, Jay Cutler, and Robert Griffin III. Due to hits from players like James Harrison of the Steelers, we've seen the rules of tackles constantly amended, yet to no avail.
MMA has even proven a far safer sport than boxing. For years, figure heads and mouthpieces of the sport such as Bob Arum and Larry Merchant have deemed boxing far safer than the "barbaric" sport of MMA. It seems they must not have received the note that since 1993, when the UFC formed, there have been over 70 deaths in boxing, when MMA only has a documented 3 deaths in sanctioned competition, none of which occurred in the UFC.
When the Fertitta brothers and Dana White reformed the rules of the UFC, it was obvious that with their constant work with athletic commissions around the country a fighter's safety was top priority. With the NFL's concussion rate on the rise, and more and more players feeling the effects, it will be interesting to see how the sport of football will evolve.
Check out all our UFC news here