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Only out of tragedy does change happen. It’s sad; but that’s just the way it is. It took the death of NASCAR’S biggest icon; DALE EARNHARDT  to change the sport long term for the better. One can only hope that there isn’t a major (or any) death in the cage to make safety an even bigger priority. However that may sadly be the case.

Every interview conducted by your’s truly; one question is repeated. Are you at all concerned about CTE. Nine times out of ten the response is no. It’s always brought up that MMA is all limbs and muscle manipulation more so than just rattling your opponents head. Tell that to ROBBIE LAWLER and RORY MACDONALD after their war. And there’s only a zillion others like that. The point used to combat a fighters response is; at least in football for example; no one’s getting head kicked. It’s even been brought to my attention at times that during sparring most times headgear is not worn. It’s been said that that can cause more rattling of the brain. You can choose to believe that one or not.

When safety issues arise there’s always going to be, well pardon the pun; kickback. In the amateur ranks, rashguards are used, sometimes head gear too. The PFL not only went with absolutely no elbows; but had a chip inserted into the gloves to measure speed and power of a punch. Two innovative moves for an organization at their level. But there was an incident in a recent UFC fight that had this writer thinking of possibilities. With CAT ZINGANO going backwards MEGAN ANDERSON caught her in the eye with a kick. The fight immediately (or so it seemed) was waived off. This is far from the 1st time issues with eyes have been brought up. Hell; coach MIKE WINKLEJOHN lost his eye after an accident happened just holding pads. MICHAEL BISPING thanks to VITOR BELFORT is basically losing his eyesight in his right eye. Why not wear goggles?

I‘m not talking about huge scientist types; but what about just ones that cover the eyeball. Like the ones Olympic swimmers ear. That would be a piece to the puzzle; the other half would be making strikes to the eyes illegal. Shots to the nose jaw and head are ok; but the eyes are out of bounds. After all; eye pokes are illegal. Now material maybe be a sticking point. But it’s just something to think about; fighter safety in the new year. Like they say; reading maybe fundamental; but seeing is a necessity.


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