Yeah, so everyone knows fighting in a cage can be dangerous to a fighter’s well-being (see: Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson in case you’re unclear). But apparently the training that goes into being sharp in the cage can be pretty freakin’ hard on the brain as well. No, I’m not talking about cutting weight – which everyone acknowledges sucks – I’m talking about hard sparring. Here’s mainstream publication the Newark Star-Ledger, which delved deep for their foray into MMA coverage:
But hidden from the excitement of fight night is a jarring world few outsiders see. The training, preparation and sparring required before even stepping into the chain-link-enclosed cage is unlike anything in sports, even boxing
It may sound like sensationalist tripe, but it gets better.
…Punches, kicks and knees are exchanged in training sessions that can turn more violent than blood-soaked fight nights. Some fighters spar three and four days a week and accept punishment beyond all conventional limits.
Daring fighters allow training partners to punch them in the face to test their chins. Smaller fighters take beatings from larger men to measure themselves. And injuries are routinely ignored or hidden.