Is MMA Bad for Your Health?

No, MMA isn’t bad for your health. The sport is one of the best forms of exercise that you can do for your body. But, as is the case with any sport, injuries can certainly happen.

MMA is a sport that has rapidly grown in popularity over the years. More and more individuals are seeking to begin participating in MMA, however, there are undoubtedly a number of questions that often arise, particularly in the form of just how safe it is overall. If you, or someone you know are interested in getting involved in MMA, and are curious as to its safety and the effects that MMA has on the body and the brain, this is the article for you. Here, we will be delving into the sport of MMA and exploring if MMA is, in any way, bad for your health.


Is Boxing or MMA Safer?

MMA is safer than boxing because there is less direct head impact which can lead to concussions.

Studies have shown that boxers are more prone to sustain injuries that will have a long-term impact on their health, while MMA fighters were shown to have a lower chance of injuries that would have a long-term effect on their health.

However, in MMA, there is a higher risk of facial wounds and contusions than in boxing.

This information was based on a 10-year study from (2003 to 2013), and medical data from 1,181 MMA competitors and 550 boxers was analyzed after each battle. According to the findings, 59.4% of MMA athletes sustained injuries during their battle, while boxers had a 49.8% injury rate in their fights.

The statistics also revealed that in MMA, you are likely to get wounded, but boxing had a greater rate of sustaining a major injury. 7.1% of the 550 boxers who were evaluated were knocked out or lost consciousness, whereas, only 4.5% of MMA fighters were knocked out or lost consciousness. Boxers were also more likely to be medically suspended after a fight due to concussions, according to researchers.


Is MMA Safer than Football?

Yes, MMA is safer than football because blows have less impact mainly due to weight classes.

In fact, it has been noted that collisions are all too often compared to car accidents, they truly are that intense and cause that much damage. One important factor to consider also is that there are no weight classes in football. Players who weigh upwards of 300 pounds (or more) often crush opponents who weigh closer to the 100 pounds mark. In terms of protective gear, football players wear helmets and pads whereas MMA combatants only wear hand protection. All in all, MMA is certainly safer than football, in a number of different ways.


Can MMA Give You Brain Damage?

Yes, MMA can give you brain damage due to the repeated blows to the head.





According to researchers, at least 25-33% of MMA athletes (including fighters in the UFC) suffer from brain damage of some sort. And as fighters progress through the ranks and weight classes, that percentage increases. It also increases in direct proportion to the fighter’s most active years.

In other words, the longer you train and compete, the more of a risk you take when it comes to sustaining a brain injury or head trauma.


Do All MMA Fighters Have Brain Damage?

All MMA fighters who have been hit in the head have suffered brain damage of some sort. 

It can be said that certainly not every single fighter has brain damage, but they definitely all take damage to the brain in some way, shape, or form. And if they haven’t yet, they certainly will at some point during their fighting career


How Many MMA Fighters Have Died?

Seven MMA fighters have died in sanctioned mixed martial arts fights and nine MMA fighters have died in unregulated fights.

But no fighter has died in the biggest MMA promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).


How Do MMA Fighters Avoid Brain Damage?

The only way for MMA fighters to avoid brain damage is to avoid blows to the head.

Avoiding head contact is the only method for MMA fighters and other combat athletes to avoid brain damage.


What Percent of MMA Fighters Have CTE?

The percentage of MMA Fighters that have CTE is unknown, but a rough estimate is 25%.









According to the largest CTE study to date which analyzed the brains of 750 individuals (both athletes and non-athletes). 8 of the individuals had been boxers, 2 of them had CTE which is a frequency of 25%.

The takeaway here is that while MMA is a sport where certain injuries are simply inevitable, but every effort has been made to make MMA fights as safe as possible. There are a number of other contact sports that have a considerably higher chance of injury as well, but developments in rules and technology are making MMA safer for athletes every day.