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Uncaged: Injury crisis forces changes to the roster

Dana White is having to work hard to fill the schedule due to the number of fighters currently out of action.

Dominick Cruz is out of action with a knee injury.
Dominick Cruz is out of action with a knee injury.
Image: Eric Jamison/AP/Press Association Images

IN A SPORT where full contact training occurs daily, it has to be expected that the best laid plans will succumb to a certain amount of injury pull outs leading up to important fights.

It’s not unusual for fight cards to be amended as late as a week out from a contest but the recent injury cloud that has been hanging over the UFC is almost unprecedented.

Of the seven current weight divisions in the UFC at the moment, (flyweight is still waiting to crown its first champion), three belt holders are out through injury and with quite a few top contenders unable to participate, Dana White is having to dig deep into the UFC roster to get any sort of fights happening at all.

Training methods need re-evaluated

George St Pierre was forced to watch Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz fight it out for his belt as he faced over a year on the side lines with a torn ACL ligament that occurred in training. Similarly, current bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz faces a spell out of action injuring his knee in training also.

This has left Urijah Faber and Renan Barao fighting for another UFC interim belt and this fight had to be moved forward to accommodate the injury to featherweight champ Jose Aldo, who pulled out of his scheduled title defence against Eric Koch due to yet another injury inflicted away from the Octagon.

Other top contenders such as Brian Stann, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort have also been bitten by the injury bug and the jinx even extends to fighters who were just about to sign for the organisation as Bibiano Fernandes found out to his cost.

This spate of withdrawals has inevitably led to calls to change the way fighters train. So much is at stake with every fight, especially within the UFC, that there is a general consensus that each fighter must train to the absolute maximum in every training session leading up to a fight. Given that a fighter could be in a twelve or fifteen week training camp, working out two or three times a day  the only real surprise is that a situation as bad as this hasn’t happened sooner.

Many view this mini-crisis as just a run of bad luck but if it continues in this vein the only way for the fighters to get to the Octagon in a fit and healthy state, is to lower the intensity of their training regimes.

Other news

One UFC legend has been called out of retirement by a young star as Rory MacDonald has been granted his request to fight BJ Penn in a matchup that has been preliminarily scheduled for this September.
As always with MacDonald’s fights, the undertones of Georges St. Pierre are never far away from the build-up and this match-up is no different as GSP and BJ Penn famously faced each other on two occasions.

“The Waterboy” will be hoping for another Canadian victory over the Hawaiian in Toronto later this year.
Any excuse to have a look back on the career of one of the greatest the sport has ever seen should never be missed,


YouTube Credit: TDGist

Apart from perhaps Jon Jones, MacDonald is one of the most-hyped fighters in the sport at the minute and he will be looking to knock Penn back into retirement if he is to fulfil any of his much-talked about potential.


YouTube Credit: CodylceAbbott

Demetrious Johnson secured a shot at UFC gold last weekend as he overcame Ian McCall at the second time of asking. He will now face Joseph Benavidez for the chance to become the first UFC flyweight champion.

Eric Silva continued his impressive rise up the welterweight ladder as he submitted Charlie Brenneman in the first round while there were other notable wins for Mike Pyle, Eddie Wineland and Tim Means at last week’s UFC on FX 3 card.

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Brian Kirk

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