It’s been a while since I posted here, but I am back. I am writing most of my injury pieces for BloodyElbow.com, and that is where I’ve been for the past 3 plus months.
Here are a few of my recent posts that I hope you will enjoy.
Dominick Cruz video from Sport Science Lab, where he has been rehabbing since five months after his second ACL reconstruction. I offer some commentary on training while rehabbing from such an injury.
A review of Tuff-N-Uff fighter Mike Florio’s gruesome leg injury, suffered on November 29th in Las Vegas. Worse than Jon Jones’ toe injury!
Shayna Baszler missed her chance to fight on the TUF 18 Finale recently, as she was injured. Here is a review of her “alternative” medicine choice to heal her injured ankle.
MMA Injury Rewind: UFC Fight Night Shogun vs. Sonnen
I have a new FanPost up on BloodyElbow.com, reviewing fighters from tonight’s UFC card who are returning to the Octagon after injury layoffs, and a couple with a notable injury history. Head over to BloodyElbow.com and check it out!
World Series of Fighting 4: Don’t Let Nick Newell’s Arm Fool You
The main card of tonight’s WSOF 4 will see Nick Newell square off against Keon Caldwell. This is Newell’s first bout with WSOF, and for me, this is the featured bout on this card. Nick has a congenital deformity of his arm that essentially left him with no forearm and no hand. In this post, I will explain why I don’t see this as a disability, but more of an impairment for Nick. For the purposes of this article, I define disability as a physical handicap that puts one at a disadvantage. I define impairment as the state of being physically diminished.
Nick once observed that "People will always look at me as being the guy with one hand." His left arm does have an elbow, but it appears not to flex or extend. The fact that he does have an elbow seems to be important to his ability to execute submissions. Andrew Calandrelli, who has trained with Nick, once stated "He actually has created new ways to use (the arm) to his advantage and create submissions."
In December 2011 at XFC 15, Newell defeated Denis Hernandez via heel hook in the first round. The series of pictures below were taken from the video of that fight, which you can see in its entirety here.
This first picture clearly shows the position in which the left elbow is fixed.
In the picture below, Nick uses the “hook” formed by the flexed elbow to secure Hernandez’ right leg, ultimately executing a take down.
Once he had Hernandez down, Nick was able to use the flexed position of the elbow effectively to isolate the right leg (first picture below) and secure the heel hook submission (second picture).
In a March 2010 bout at Triumph Fighter 1, Newell defeated Steve Butler via rear-naked choke. (Click here for the fight video.) He demonstrated the ability to utilize the hooked position of the left elbow to secure his right arm, which was wrapped around Butler’s neck for the choke. (While the picture below is of poor quality, you can see the outlined area that is the left elbow.)
Since Newell seems to be adept at using what he has available in his left arm, I think he is more physically diminished than physically disabled. Will he fair as well against a presumably higher caliber fighter? I guess we will know after tonight. But I am still excited to see him fight, even if he does not win. Watching people overcome obstacles and succeed at a high level is inspiring to me. As Nick once stated, "My goal is to prove that people with disabilities can go out and win. It’s more of a message I’d like to send, that if you have a goal, go out and do it."
MMA Injury Rewind: UFC 163
In this edition of MMA Injury Rewind, I will look back at the injuries of two fighters on tonight’s UFC 163 card- Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh and “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
Anthony Perosh will step into the Octagon tonight for the first time since November 2012, when he suffered a fracture dislocation of his big toe during a training session. (This is the toe injury that was more recently made popular by Jon Jones.) He Tweeted an explanation of how the injury occurred.
I broke & dislocated my left big toe training while doing a takedown during sparring. I got the takedown but my toe was left behind! Crap.— Anthony Perosh (@AnthonyPerosh)
Here is a picture of the aftermath of the training accident, followed by a post-operative picture that Perosh Tweeted. (WARNING: Graphic!)
Injury Update: Cat Zingano
Cat Zingano continues her recovery from May 28th surgery for ACL reconstruction on her right knee. She is now at the two month point in her recovery, and she has revealed some information via Twitter that offers a glimpse into the current status of her knee.
Headed to strength and conditioning. I always feel good after getting a workout on, it’s been too damn long.— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano)
— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano)
First, notice that she has no brace on her knee (3rd from right). In all of the public photos of her that I have seen since the surgery, she has had the protective knee brace on. Also, she has apparently returned to some low level strength and conditioning. I cannot tell if she is wearing the brace during her training. However, it is a good sign that she is now walking without the brace. Returning to normal gait ability after an ACL repair is very important to maintaining function of the quadriceps muscles.
She also notes that she was given a time line of 6-9 months to return from the surgery. This probably means 6-9 months until she can start MMA-specific training again, assuming no complications.
Cat’s surgeon utilized a cadaver ACL graft for the repair. As I have mentioned in a previous article about Cat’s recovery, there is evidence to suggest that the cadaver allografts take longer to fully “incorporate” within the knee. One of the potential benefits of the cadaver graft is less post-operative pain compared to the gold standard patella tendon graft. This was one of the reasons that Cat chose the cadaver graft. In my opinion, the combination of a slower healing graft and less pain may actually lead athletes to be more active earlier after surgery, and stress the healing ligament too much too soon. For this reason, I hope that Cat is paying careful attention to her rehab team, and that there is a close association between her rehab team and strength and conditioning trainers.
UFC on FOX 8 Morning After: Who’s Hurting?
"Morning After: Who’s Hurting?" is a periodic piece that I post where I review the previous night’s fights from a different perspective- who is hurting due to injury?
I am not presuming that there are only a select few of the fighters who are really hurting today after their fights. I only want to present my choice of a couple of fighters who are probably dealing with exceptional pain from the damage suffered during the fight.
Ed “Short Fuse” Herman
Herman claimed a split decision victory over Trevor Smith in a bout that saw both fighters absorb huge shots. The damage that Herman sustained sent him to the E.R., and he Tweeted news of his injuries.
— Ed Herman (@EdHermanufc)
Thanks 4 all the great tweets every 1love the support I’m ok fractured finger, nose, ribs but feels a lot better with that win & FOTN bonus— Ed Herman (@EdHermanufc)
Ariel Helwani made note in a post-fight interview that Herman was limping. Ed has a history of multiple ACL tears on the same knee that kept him out of fighting for about two years in ‘09-‘11. He didn’t mention lany problem with his leg in his Tweet, Still, Let’s hope that his knee is OK.
Photo via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Danzig lost via brutal hammer fist KO at the hands of Melvin Guillard in the second round of their bout. Danzig suffered a large cut on his nose, but I will be watching for news of other possible injures given the power of Guillard’s two hammer fist shots to Danzig’s face when he was down.
MMA Injury Rewind: UFC on FOX 8
It’s time for another addition of MMA Injury Rewind for tomorrow’s UFC on FOX 8 card. The purpose of this post is to review some of the fighters returning to action after an injury layoff, or those with an interesting injury history. If a fighter is not listed in this post, that means there were no injuries of interest (to me, anyway). I have done this in bits and pieces on the blog, on Bloody Elbow FanPosts, and on Twitter, but today I am going to put everything in a nice package here on the MMA Injury blog.
MMA Injuries: Gunnar Nelson’s Knee
Image via Sherdog.com
Since April, I have been searching every nook and cranny that I could think of, trying to get some perspective on the knee injury suffered by UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson. The Icelandic fighter was pulled from his scheduled fight with Mike Pyle at UFC 160 in May due to a knee injury. His father and manager Haraldur Nelson announced Gunnar’s knee surgery on Twitter back in April
It now appears that Gunnar had a torn meniscus. His father was quoted in an article posted on Fightersonlymag.com:
“It was a really loud cracking sound, … and it sounded like it was coming from deep inside the knee. So we thought we better get it checked out. Straight away they did an MRI on it and they came back and said it was a torn meniscus.”
The possibility exists that Gunnar also had an MCL injury, but I’m not confident of this. The above-referenced article is a bit confusing, because the title is “Gunnar Nelson Undergoes Successful MCL Surgery.” In the body of the article, there is no reference to an MCL injury until the end when the author states “Although Nelson’s ligament wasn’t a complete tear, it is unfortunate he has suffered such an injury so early in his career.”
The quote from his father references only a meniscus tear. I have not been able to pin down any other confirmation of an MCL tear. Haraldur Nelson stated that Gunnar was looking to be fully recovered by August.
Gegard Mousasi Aims for December Return
Gegard Mousasi continues his rehabilitation from a second ACL surgery on the same knee. You may recall that he entered his UFC on Fuel TV 9 fight vs. Ilir Latifi in April knowing that the knee was injured, and he had surgery soon after the fight. I believe that he probably had a cadaver allograft for the second ACL reconstruction, or possibly the hamstring tendon autograft. In May, I penned an article on BloodyElbow.com FanPost explaining my reasons for this belief.
He has made it clear on Twitter that he is aiming for a return to the Octagon this December. A few days ago he Tweeted as much in reply to a question.
@bigfish042 I hoop december ….— Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) July 17, 2013
He also has been pressing Dana White for a December fight against Vitor Belfort.
A December return would mean about seven months of rehabilitation following his second ACL surgery on the same knee. This may be a bit soon, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. The rehab time can be extended for ACL surgeries that use the cadaver allograft or even hamstring autograft.
My Interview with Crooklyn and Kidd on MMA Sentinel Radio
I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Steph Daniels and Iain Kidd on MMA Sentinel Radio. Our topic during the 30 minute interview was, of coarse, MMA injuries. We discussed the current rash of injuries, why I’m excited about the current state of rehab after Achilles’ tendon tear, and more.
You can listen to the audio at MMA Sentinel Radio, or check out the article from the interview posted by Steph on BloodyElbow.com. (The audio link is a bonus, as you get to listen to the dulcet tones of Iain “The Dirty Scot” Kidd!)