European promotion BAMMA today released this statement regarding its decision to postpone its upcoming Dublin event in the wake of the Joao Carvalho tragedy, in order to introduce and implement MRI/ MRA brain scans for all its fighters moving  forwards:

BAMMA has always sought the highest possible standards of regulation for mixed martial arts events. Consequently, due to BAMMA introducing mandatory MRI\MRA scans for all BAMMA fighters, the decision has been taken to move the BAMMA 26 event from June 4th until September 10th. All tickets already purchased for the event will be honoured, though refund are available.

“We understand and welcome the fact that regulation for this sport is being put in place here in Ireland,” said David, CEO, BAMMA. “But whilst we await this regulation and the results from the numerous discussions that are currently taking place, we have taken the step to introduce mandatory MRI/MRA scans for all of our fighters for the BAMMA 26 event onwards.

Whilst we are already one of the leaders in MMA fighter safety in Europe, after consultation with Professor Dan Healy a leading expert in the MMA medical field, we believe that this is a vital step and will serve as important additional protection for the fighters and should be a key part of new regulation. However, it would not be possible to implement this system in time for our contest on June 4th. So, in order to be certain that we can implement these new scans across all fighters, we have taken the decision to move the event back a few months. We do not take this decision lightly and apologise for the inconvenience to BAMMA fans.”

BAMMA already applies the Safe MMA standard to all of its events. This means having fully qualified medical staff on site, an equipped emergency treatment centre at the venue as well as standby ambulances should hospital checks be necessary as well as a large number of pre and post fights checks to prevent injuries going unnoticed or untreated. While BAMMA already sets an extremely high standard for fighter safety, it is always looking to improve, and believes that the addition of MRI/MRA scans will allow this.

Commenting on the decision Dan Healy, Consultant Neurologist at Beaumont Hospital said, “These measures make MMA safer; a Rubicon moment. BAMMA have set a new standard that I encourage others to follow. We must all work together on this.”

International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) CEO, Densign White, said: “We commend and support this proactive decision that BAMMA has taken in the interests of athlete safety. Choosing to put safety before profit is unusual. In engaging with IMMAF’s medical committee lead, with national federations in Ireland and the UK and with their medical advisory Safe MMA, BAMMA sets a good example for the rest of the industry to follow. This kind of cooperation and partnership in event management is precisely what’s needed to move the sport of MMA forward.”

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