Brian Stann, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, Vitor Belfort, Dominick Cruz, Michael Bisping and now Jose Aldo.
That’s just a partial list of the names that have recently fallen off of UFC fight cards due to injuries, and it seems like it keeps growing by the day.
While injuries are nothing new to the sport, lately the problem has caused more and more major fights to be scrapped and cards changed due to fighters not being able to stay healthy.
The most recent changes caused a brand new main event to be made for UFC on Fox 4 in August, but at this point UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva are just expecting the unexpected every time their phones ring.
“I’m numb to it now,” UFC President Dana White told Fuel TV on Friday night. “Last year when the stuff started happening it was devastating. Now, I’ve chalked it up to this is part of the business, part of the deal.”
The hard charging nature of all MMA fighters is part of what makes this sport great, but their never-say-die attitude also carries over into the training room, and White believes that’s also part of the problem.
The MMA ‘super camp’ is a big reason why some fighters are as successful as they are. Working with other top-notch athletes pushes a fighter to the next level, but it also increases the risk for injury because even though it’s not a fight, no one wants to give up an inch in the training room.
“I think what’s happening too and me and Joe Silva were talking about this tonight, you have so many talented guys out there now all in the same camp, going at it like they’re fighting for the title, these guys need to tone it down in training a bit and stop hurting each other,” said White.
One conspiracy theory that has been tossed around of late is the idea that ever since the UFC instituted their fighter insurance program in 2011, some athletes are more willing to pull out of fights because they can get the necessary medical treatment needed as opposed to ‘fighting through an injury’.
Others believe that because of the high level that fighters are expected to perform at in the UFC, and that the cut line is only one fight away, some competitors aren’t willing to take the chance of coming in at anything less than 100-percent.
White dispels all of those rumors because he knows that at the heart of the sport, fighters want to fight, fighters want to get paid, and the only way they do that is to fight.
“Guys that fight in the UFC and the guys that we deal with all the time are hungry to fight. These guys want to fight, and they want to get paid. The more you sit on the sidelines, and the more you’re out, the less money you make,” White stated.
“Like I always talk about the short window of opportunity in the fight business, I don’t think that’s the case.”
While everyone can look for a specific reason that the injuries seem to be piling up right now, it may all just get chalked up to a serious case of bad timing. Fighters will get injured and have to drop out of fights, but recently it just seems like they are falling at an alarming rate.