The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has issued an indefinite medical suspension to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos.
After suffering a 5th round TKO loss against current UFC Heavyweight Champ Cain Velasquez at UFC 166, Dos Santos said he couldn’t remember anything after the 2nd round of the fight. After the bout was stopped, Dos Santos’s face was a bloody mess; he had swelling all around his eyes and mouth, topped with blood gushing out of multiple wounds on his face as a consequence of being savagely battered for almost 5 whole rounds by the relentless champion.
The fight was stopped after Dos Santos smacked his own head on the floor and was too dazed to intelligently defend himself. So, after hearing that he couldn’t remember anything following the 2nd round, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that he received such a serious medical suspension by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Even UFC President Dana White said that he thought the fight should have been stopped after the 3rd round.
“I’m not a doctor by any means, but I think that fight should have been stopped in the 3rd round,” said White, at the UFC 166 post fight press conference. “Im a guy who has been around this sport for a long time and boxing, and seeing men who are too tough for their own good, and I think Junior Dos Santos is one of those guys in the last Cain fight and in this Cain fight, and I think that fight should have been stopped. I didn’t think he needed to take more punishment.”
This incident sparks a broader topic of discussion within the MMA community. MMA is a combat sport, and that means you’re going to get hit in the head; that comes with consequences. Shocking, I know…
Recent scientific research has shed light on the effects of brain trauma on athletes who participate in contact sports, mainly football, but MMA certainly shouldn’t be excluded from this category.
Safety regulations in MMA have come a long way since the first UFC tournaments took place in the 1990s, and they will likely continue to change as the sport evolves and research regarding brain injuries continues as well.