(6.11.13) Health and safety concerns were raised regarding a fighter who competed on Cage Warriors 60 on 5th October, despite a possibility of the fighter being medically unfit. The fighter’s manger raised a complaint with the promotion, which the promotion then brought to Safe MMA’s attention.

Based on initial reports Dr Jack Kreindler and the Safe MMA board made the following points in a public statement to address concerns:

“The promotion reports giving clear instructions to all 24 fighters to attend the official Cage Warriors 60 Safe MMA Pre-Fight Medical clinic being held on the day of the fight as is recommended. 23 fighters followed these instructions. 1 fighter did not attend as instructed.

The one fighter who did not attend the official Safe MMA pre-fight medical clinic privately consulted a doctor the previous day. It has been reported that this consult included the doctor administrating Intravenous (‘IV’) fluids to the fighter due to severe dehydration from ‘weight cutting’.

There was no documentation in the medical examination notes of the prior administration of IV fluids. There was no documentation of any blood biochemistry or urine tests results before or after the reported infusion of IV fluids.

The privately hired doctor who administered the IV fluids was the same doctor who the promotion (Cage Warriors) had contracted to conduct the official Safe MMA Pre-fight medical clinic the following day.

The doctor was apparently not granted permission by the promotion to conduct the Safe MMA medical before the official pre-fight clinic but did complete and submit a Safe MMA medical form to the promotion, clearing the fighter. It is not known if the doctor understood that this is not recommended practice.

The fighter in question may have experienced physical issues during and after the fight that could have been contributed to by dehydration/weight cutting, or inappropriate IV rehydration. Without the need for IV rehydration being declared to an independent Safe MMA doctor at an official Safe MMA pre-fight medical, it is unlikely that any advanced tests would have been conducted which would have been needed to clear the fighter.

The Safe MMA doctor’s independence is being questioned as the same doctor was also reportedly contracted to serve the private medical needs of the fighter with IV fluids.”

Initial reports to Safe MMA suggested that the promotion had worked to fulfil its agreement to Safe MMA and acted swiftly and in the best interests of the fighter who was taken by ambulance to hospital. To the promotion’s knowledge, the fighter had been cleared by the docto;r and pre-fight medical paperwork had been provided with no mention to the fact the medical had been carried out outside the time and place allotted by the promotions.  Safe MMA doctors D. Jack Kreindler and Dr Mike Loosemore pledged their support to the promotion based on initial facts and to conduct an investigation due to the dispute brought by the fighter’s manager.

The manager was satisfied by the medical paperwork and information provided and agreed the promotion was not at fault; and so the dispute between the manager and promotion was resolved.

 Safe MMA revisited its guidelines supplied to promotions, fighters and doctors and it was highlighted that further guidance needed to be provided as existing information was not comprehensive. The following guidelines will be added to the Safe MMA agreement and it will be the promotion’s duty to enforce these guidelines are met moving forwards so competitors can not be put at risk due to the same errors in future:

1. The promotion must make it mandatory to ensure their doctors are not also privately serving the fighters, otherwise the fight medicals will not be independent and therefore they won’t meet Safe MMA criteria

2. Fighters attendance at a pre-fight medical organised by the promotion and conducted on the day of the fight is mandatory under Safe MMA

3. Moving forwards, onus is on the promotion to enforce the above at their level

The acting doctor on the night has been informed of the above guidelines.

In addition to this, Safe MMA deems IV rehydration to be bad practice and to be discouraged. Safe weight-cutting is an issue that has been raised by doctors for discussion at Safe MMA’s first Annual General Meeting on 22nd November.

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