(London.28th March.13) Following successful first Safe MMA events, representatives from Cage Warriors, BAMMA and UCMMA met on Thursday 21st March to feed back on their experiences of their first Safe MMA shows and to initiate improvements.
The following areas were addressed:
A number of improvements have been proposed to the overall fighter registration process to make the system smoother and as simple as possible to use.
A follow up administration and processes meeting took place with 76 Harley Street’s practice manager on Tuesday 26th March to discuss and implement the changes.
One major issue has been fighters leaving it to the last minute to register. Sufficient time needs to be allowed for the following:
· It can take a number of weeks to book a GP appointment.
· It may also take time for the blood vials and medical forms to be posted and to arrive at Safe MMA
· 76 Harley Street doctors will also need a number of days allowance to review the forms
· Blood screening times can vary depending on where bloods are tested, if processed outside Safe MMA.
· There is no room for error for if a problem arises (e.g. a fighter has trouble finding a GP; or tests need to be re-done for some reason)
· It is not always possible to take bloods in the last couple of days of a weight cut due to dehydration.
· In some situations treatment may be needed (such as a short course of medication), which if completed in time would still allow the fighter to fight.
Fighters need to be encouraged to register to Safe MMA as soon as they have signed the fight contract, so their blood packs and medical forms can be sent out in good time for them to book a GP appointment.
Cut-Off Dates for Registration
Safe MMA recommends that fighters register at least 3 weeks out from the fight.
Except in the case of late replacements, the cut-off date for Safe MMA registration is one week prior to a fighter’s first fight date.
Where the fighter elects to submit NHS blood results instead of using the Safe MMA bloods service, the cut-off date for the submission of NHS blood results is 2 weeks before the fight date. There have been a number of incidents where NHS blood results have not covered either Hep B or Hep C and have had to be re-done as late as on the day of the fight.
Fighters in some parts of the country have been experiencing difficulties with booking in for GP medicals.
Safe MMA now has supporting doctors in Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as London who have been doing fantastic work to enable the success of the project.
We will continue to build a database of Safe MMA doctors around the country to form a supporting medical network.
Post Fight Medicals & Suspensions
· Safe MMA has been asked to stipulate more detailed requirements for cageside and post-fight medical professionals, including number of staff required and their qualifications.
· Safe MMA has been asked by medical professionals to stipulate standardised advised periods of suspension for different types of common injury.
· Advised suspensions MUST be given verbally to the fighter on the night by the post-fight doctor.
· Where there has for some reason been an issue and the medic has not advised a suspension, it is the promotion’s responsibility to advise a period of suspension (based on the standardised, advised time periods).
· Moving forward Safe MMA will publish the list of suspended fighters and their suspension periods, one week after each Safe MMA event (once Safe MMA doctors have reviewed the post-fight medical paperwork).
SAFE MMA Medical Meeting
Dr Mike Loosemore will be meeting with a number of medical professionals giving their support to the Safe MMA project on 10th April, for medical feedback and revisions.
Safe MMA Fighters Fighting On Non-Registered Shows
Usually if a Safe MMA fighter fights on a non-registered show he/she will need to have his/her bloods re-tested before returning to fight on a Safe MMA show. He/she will also be expected to submit any post-fight medicals from the other show to Safe MMA.
However, if the fighter fights on a show that upholds medical standards to the same level as Safe MMA or higher then they will not need to get their bloods re-tested before returning to compete on a Safe MMA show. (e.g. British Board of Boxing, UFC, Cage Warriors’ foreign shows). The fighter will need to submit their post-fight medicals to Safe MMA.
Where a Safe MMA promotion runs an event in a foreign territory, the promotion must submit the blood results of any non-registered opponent fighting a Safe MMA registered opponent. If this is done, then the Safe MMA fighter will not need to be re-tested before returning to a Safe MMA event.
Independent Safe MMA bouts
If a Safe MMA fighter fights on a non-registered show, he can make his own agreement with his opponent for it to be a SAFE MMA registered bout, if the opponent is also happy to register with Safe MMA. This would mean the fighter wouldn’t need to get their bloods re-tested to fight again on a Safe MMA show.
Staffing & Support
· 76 Harley St is employing a new member of clinical administrative staff to support their Practice Manager with the Safe MMA administrative work.
· At this stage promotions may need a dedicated Safe MMA rep to support them with getting fighters signed up ahead of shows. This is due to the fact that a lot of education is still needed
· A number of volunteers are now offering their help to Safe MMA; and at this time volunteers are most needed as Safe MMA reps supporting promotions with particular fight cards
· When a new promotion signs up to Safe MMA, another Safe MMA member will be allocated to provide support and advice to them for their first registered show and will be present at the event to offer help and guidance.
Responsibility to Safe MMA fighters
Safe MMA shows have agreed show support to the fighters who have paid to register for the year by offering them fights above others.