Glover Teixeira: Brain Injuries Usually Occur in the Gym, Not During Fights

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Upcoming UFC light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira believes that mixed martial artists suffer the majority of their brain injuries during training, as opposed to during scraps inside the cage. 

Speaking one-on-one with MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas, the Brazilian slugger expressed his opinion on the dangers of combat sports. 

The way people train is the most dangerous thing because we train, like, everyday. Some people spar five days a week. And that's where the injuries can cause...I mean you see fights, fights go so quick, especially in MMA there's a lot of grappling and stuff. So, uh, I guess the only thing is more like, uh, it is easy to prevent. If you go hard everyday, like I see boxers at Brooklyn gym, I live right in Connecticut, I see some boxers in Brooklyn gym man. ... They fight every day sparring. That's a fight, they go at it, they throw everything.

On Tuesday, politicians, boxers and MMA fighters joined forces at a Washington, D.C., press conference to announce that financial support has been acquired to research brain injuries in combat sports.  

The 34-year-old Teixeira is fortunate in the sense that he has only been knocked out once in over 11 years in a 24-fight career. 

A knockout specialist with a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to boot, Teixeira squares off with 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones at UFC 172, set for April 26 in Baltimore. 

Teixeira enters the title tilt on a rarely seen 20-fight win streak. 

Of course "Bones" is no pushover, currently ranked as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC's official rankings, the winner of 10 straight fights—including a UFC record of six consecutive title defenses. 

Jones' only professional loss came as a result of a controversial disqualification for using 12-to-6 elbows against Matt Hamill in December 2009. 

Does Teixeira make a valid point in that the most severe injuries in MMA come during training, or are the fights inside the Octagon typically where the real damage takes place?

 

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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