CTE Diagnosed In MMA Fighter First Time In History

CTE Diagnosed In MMA Fighter First Time In History



Jordan Parsons lost his life tragically 6 months ago in a Hit and Run accident. He was struck and killed as a pedestrian by an alleged drunk driver. At age 26. He’s recently been officially diagnosed as the first fighter in the MMA sport to have suffered from a  degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy otherwise known as CTE.

CTE is a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma including sub concussive hits to the head that do not cause immediate symptoms. Originally known as “Punch-Drunk” it was typically found in boxers. Nowadays it’s most commonly found in those participating in American Football, Football, ice hockey as well as professional wrestling. Being “Punch-drunk” comes with wonderful side effects similar to dementia which may appear years or even decades after trauma.

The man who diagnosed Jordan Parsons is Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who first discovered CTE in a professional football player and a professional wrestler. He was the subject of the last year’s Oscar nominated movie Concussion.

This diagnosis will be opening up MMA promotions, among them the recently sold UFC and others, to major lawsuits.

Former NHL players settled their suit against the NHL for a reported 1 billion dollars following Dr.Omalu’s landmark diagnosis in 2003.

“These findings confirm that the danger of exposure to CTE is not limited to just football, hockey, and wrestling,’’ Omalu said in an interview to Boston Globe. “Mixed martial arts is also a dangerous sport, and it’s time for everyone to embrace the truth.’’

Jordan “Pretty Boy” Parsons was a contract fighter for Bellator MMA – owned by media company Viacom since 2011.

Bellator president issued a statement saying:

“Bellator MMA is committed to the safety of our fighters and has been a strong supporter of the Cleveland Clinic [Professional Fighters Brain Health Study] for the last few years.’’

Among the people believed to be suffering from CTE is Gary Goodridge, UFC 8 fighter. His diagnosis isn’t certain because CTW can only be diagnosed through postmortem brain autopsies.

“As a scientist, a physician, and a person of faith, I beg everybody involved with these sports to come together and identify the problems and find solutions,’’ Omalu added.

Parsons was a high school wrestler who started competing in MMA at age 17. He quickly turned professional at age 20 and subsequently won the Championship Fighting Alliance title.

His first knockout came in fight number 8, after just over 1 minute. It took him close to a year to recover.

His mother initiated the investigation into CTE when she sent a video of the knockout to the lawyer Kyros who represented a number of plaintiffs against the WWE and who then procured Parson’s brain for the autopsy. In addition to this video she also sent his last fight recording where he was knocked out following a kick.

Omalu said it was “impossible’’ for Parsons’s CTE to be caused by the accident “because it is a chronic disease that develops over time.’’

There are no immediate plans to sue Bellator, as Kyros said:

“Out of the tragedy of Mr. Parsons’s death, I hope the results serve to both warn and educate other athletes and their doctors about the hidden risks involved,’’ Kyros said.”

Parsons’s mother declined to comment, indicating she was too distraught about his death and the criminal prosecution of the driver who allegedly killed him