The Swedish MMA Federation has released a letter detailing the reason they took Alexander Gustafsson out of his big fight in Stockholm last weekend. TL;DR he had a bad cut right above his eyeball.
In the event of a wound of this nature, it will be enough with only a moderate impact in the eye area for the wound to open up again. In elite level contact sports it is highly probable for that to occur and thus causing the wound to bleed profusely, escalated by the fact that in this stage of the healing process there is an increase of vascular density in the surrounding tissue. The bleeding would be of such intensity that a stoppage of the match is highly likely, since the vision would be occluded.
The long-term consequences are hard to predict, but repeated damage to a wound with less than 10% strength will likely cause muscular damage. In this case this entails damage to orbicularis occulis, levator and palpebrae superioris, i.e. the muscles controlling the eye lid, which could lead to a permanently decreased function of the eye lid, commonly referred to as a lazy eye (medical term ptosis).
Had the Medical Committee not been asked to examine the wound at this early stage nor been privy to information regarding the injury, there is a possibility that Gustafsson might have been cleared at an inspection on April 5th. The extent to which a wound of this type appears healed after a week will vary. However, such speculation is not relevant in this case since the Medical Committee had in fact already performed an examination. Consequently; letting an athlete compete in an elite level full contact sport based on what appears to be a healed scar, but fully informed of the fact that the injury is far from healed and the obvious risks that come with it, would be a severe breach of medical ethics as well as in this respect also against the law.
So the lesson to learn here kids is always hide any potentially fight-cancelling medical issues from commission doctors.
(pic via Alexander Gustafsson’s Twitter)