The injury bug has become a mainstay in the current era of mixed martial arts.
Fighting by itself is taxing on the body, but the six to eight weeks of rigorous gym time invested to prepare for an upcoming bout is on an entirely different level of physical demand. The sport—and fighters involved—become more competitive day in and day out, and the push for the athletes in MMA to continue their progression in order to keep up with the rising tide is a sacrifice that has to be met.
While a great training camp can lead to favorable results on fight night, the process comes with a large amount of risk. In order to perform at top levels, a fighter needs to train at top levels, and oftentimes the rigors of training can lead to accidental setbacks in the gym.
The possibility of injury is a reality every fighter faces, and every session spent sparring or rolling on the mats comes with a fair share of risk.
In 2012, the UFC was plagued by fighters falling out of scheduled bouts due to injury, as numerous cards were shaken up—with one event flat-out cancelled—due to the combatants being able to perform.
This has led to trainers across the sport tweaking their respective regiments in hopes of keeping their fighters safe and prolonging the careers of the athletes involved. That being said, the process is far from perfect, and fighters will continue to prepare for their next challenge with the threat of injury hanging overhead.
On this week's installment of Bleacher Report's Ultimate Show, "The Fight Doctor" Jonathan Gelber takes a look at shoulder injuries.