Mixed martial arts (MMA) is rapidly growing in popularity in the United States and abroad. This combat sport joins athletes from a wide variety of martial art disciplines, each with characteristic and distinguishing injury profiles, together in competition. Because of increasing participation by professionals and amateurs alike, injuries sustained by MMA athletes have been on the rise.
A review of relevant publications using the search term mixed martial arts and each of its component combat sports (eg, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu) from 1980 through 2015 was completed using PubMed and Google Scholar.
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The majority of studies on MMA injuries evaluate those sustained during competition, which range in incidence from 22.9 to 28.6 per 100 fight-participations. Striking-predominant disciplines such as boxing, karate, and Muay Thai have high rates of head and facial injuries, whereas submission-predominant disciplines such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, and wrestling have high rates of joint injuries.
Numerous studies have evaluated injuries in athletes who participate in MMA and its component disciplines during competition but much remains to be discovered about injuries sustained during training and in specific patient populations such as adolescents and women.
Sports Health. 2016 Aug 16. pii: 1941738116664860. [Epub ahead of print] Injuries Sustained by the Mixed Martial Arts Athlete. Jensen AR1, Maciel RC2, Petrigliano FA2, Rodriguez JP3, Brooks AG4.
Author information: 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California firstname.lastname@example.org. 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. 3Andrews Research & Education Foundation, Gulf Breeze, Florida Action Sports Orthopaedics, San Francisco, California. 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California Action Sports Orthopaedics, San Francisco, California.