Irish MMA Community: Lecture Series Invitation

IMMAA, SAFEMMA and the Neuroscience society invite the Irish MMA community to a free afternoon lecture series on Friday 6th January, 2017.

For some time fight fans and promoters have recognized a peculiar condition occurring among prize fighters which, in ring parlance, they speak of as “punch drunk.” Fighters in whom the early symptoms are well recognized are said to be “cuckoo,” “goofy,” “cutting paper dolls,” or “slug nutty.”

These words were penned in 1928 by the American pathologist Dr Martland. The purpose of our meeting is to provide fighters and coaches with up-to-date information, examples of real life cases, and practical advice on this “peculiar condition” now known as CTE.


What it is, will I get it, and how to minimise risk: a practical guide
Prof Daniel Healy
Consultant Neurologist


Open agenda; questions and answers session
Ms Aisling Daly and SAFEMMA

Prince Albert lecture theatre
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

Entrance via front door on St Stephen’s Green
Friday 6th January 2017.

IMMAA announce new safety procedure for amateurs in 2017

Beginning in 2017 the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association will recommend that Amateur MMA athletes in Ireland should undergo a one-off normal MRI brain scan, in an attempt to detect any pre-existing conditions.

On the advice of our medical advisory service SAFEMMA Ireland we are making the recommendation for the following reasons:

1. To reduce potential injury by identifying athletes that may be at risk due to an undiagnosed pre-existing condition.

2. Data obtained from MRI/MRAs of professional fighters, a number which led to referrals for expert review

SAFEMMA Ireland have secured a price of €150/£125 for the pre-clearance MRI brain scan from the Bon Secours Hospital in Glasnevin, Dublin.

This price is marginally higher than cost-price and we are grateful to the Bon Secours for such a generous offer.

Speaking about this latest development IMMAA president John Kavanagh said “MMA is leading the field in athlete safety, and I believe other contact sports will follow suit in time.”

Kavanagh continued “As it stands, our IMMAA guidelines on fighter safety at amateur level go beyond what the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and most US State Athletic Commissions currently enforce. When you also factor in the recent rule changes at amateur level that we have adopted I think it’s fair to say we have the best safety procedures for amateur competition here in Ireland.”

We realise this is another cost for young athletes. With this in mind we have selected the Cage Legacy event on February 11th 2017 as a test case to examine the affordability and practicality of the recommended once-off screening for amateur competitors.

We will examine the results after the event and consult with SAFEMMA Ireland on how best to proceed for future MMA events.


The IMMAA – Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association is the National Governing Body for MMA within Ireland. It is an affiliated member of the IMMAF – International Mixed Martial Arts Federation & follows IMMAF’s rules & guidelines.

For additional information please contact Fergus Ryan:


SAFEMMA IRELAND have concluded a price of €150/£125 for the preclearance MRI brain scan for amateur MMA fighters recommended- only once ever -for amateurs on SAFEMMA IRELAND events from January 2017.

This is available at the Bon Secours Hospital in Glasnevin, Dublin.

€150/£125 is only marginally higher than cost-price and we are grateful to the Bon Secours. To date no other MRI unit in Ireland has offered a similar cost for this scan. It is not available to other sporting codes or family members.

A referral can be made directly by your GP e.g. at the time of your annual medical examination, using the reference code “DH”.

Your GP will receive the scan report and you yourself will be given a CD containing the actual pictures of your brain.

SAFEMMA IRELAND welcomes scans from all MRI units with correct sequence protocols.

SAFEMMA IRELAND is a totally voluntary project.
Our sole motive is to make MMA safer.
No doctor takes fees or expenses, or any other benefit, directly or indirectly.

Professor Dan Healy


  • 3 ARENA, DUBLIN 16th DECEMBER 2016

(London.16th September.2016) All competitors on the Bellator 169 – BAMMA 27 co-event tonight at the 3 Arena in Dublin, have been confirmed as ‘Safe MMA Plus’ clear.

BAMMA set a precedent for medical safety in MMA earlier this year when athlete clearance for BAMMA 26 saw all competitors meet the new, enhanced Irish medical standard.

Working voluntarily to meet the guidelines of the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA), BAMMA required its fighters to undergo MRI/ MRAs of the brain and specialist eye-tests, in addition to the standard Safe MMA requirements for athlete annual medical examinations and tests for blood borne viruses.

Since then, every professional MMA fighter to compete in Ireland has met the enhanced criteria through the general consensus of the Irish MMA community; and BAMMA has committed to its continued implementation across its events both in and outside of Ireland.

U.S. promoter Bellator, engaged Safe MMA’s third party medical clearance services for its event in the United Kingdom in July; but tonight’s show marks another stake in the ground for athlete safety. As Bellator meets BAMMA for a joint card in Dublin, it has also unified with its British partner in committing to meet the Irish ‘Safe MMA Plus’ standard and continuing the legacy upheld by the Irish MMA community in 2016.

Full List of Safe MMA Plus Competitors for Bellator 169 and BAMMA 27:

Anthony Taylor
Brian Moore
Cameron Else
Daniel Weichel
Dylan Tuke
Elina Kallionidou
James Gallagher
Mohammed Lawal
Satoshi Ishii
Sinead Kavanagh
Alan Philpott
Andy Lofthouse
Blaine O’Driscoll
Conor Riordan
Ian Cleary
Jai Herbert
Keith McCabe
Kiefer Crosbie
Nathan Jones
Neil Ward
Niklas Stolze
Rhys McKee
Richard Kiely
Terry Brazier
Tom Duquesnoy



InfraScan, Inc. has sponsored the onsite medical team, Code Blue Medical, for the Bellator 169/ BAMMA 27 co-event, a revolutionary piece of medical kit for use at Dublin’s 3Arena tonight.

Developed for the identification of traumatic brain injury, the Infrascanner is a hand held device used to provide a rapid evaluation of head trauma patients with possible intracranial haemorrhage and which can detect a cerebral bleed up to 3.5 cm below the skull. Portable and noninvasive, the Infrascanner permits for repeated monitoring without concern for radiation dose.

Event medical provider Code Blue work under the commissioning guidelines of the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association and in partnership with Safe MMA to enable athlete clearance to compete. The Infrascanner will not replace mandatory CT scan referral for KOed competitors but will be utilised as a “catch all” facility for athletes who don’t automatically fit IMMAA’s criteria for post-bout brain scan referrals.

Infrascan, Inc will have a trained provider at the 3Arena to conduct scans of all competitors post fight.

The event protocol under the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association will be as follows:

  • Competitor is KO’d – Mandatory CT scan referral 
  • Competitor receives large amount of head shots – Mandatory CT scan referral 
  • Ringside doctor believes CT is required – CT scan referral 
  •  Competitor clears post-bout medical examination but internal bleed is indentified by Infrascanner – CT scan referral

SkillShop, the Irish and U.K. agent for Infrascanner said:

“We are delighted to support BAMMA-Bellator and to allow them see the value of immediate onsite screening for brain bleeding for patients who otherwise would not meet the criteria for a head CT. We believe Infrascanner is a natural fit as part of post fight medicals for MMA and are delighted to show the device on a big event like tonight’s.”

See InfraScanner White Paper: infrascanner-white-paper
See Methodological Recommendations for Detection of Brain Injury in Athletes: methodological-recommendations-for-detection-of-brain-injury-in-athletes


[Friday 9th December] All are welcome to attend tomorrow’s Concussion lecture in Dublin, Ireland at the Royal College of Surgeons at the Cheyne Lecture Theatre.

The “In Practice – Concussion Update” lecture forms part of the Sports and Exercise Medicine Structured Educational Programme (SEMSEP)

On-site registration is from 8.15am/8.30am; module starts at 8.45am, with first lecture at 9am.

Click here to download full programme

For more information about the RCSI go to:




Safe MMA Events: Weekend Update

Three promoters have undertaken medical clearance through Safe MMA for shows this weekend in the United Kingdom and in Ireland.

Tonight’s BCMMA 17 in Colchester, Essex, features 8 professional competitors, cleared to Safe MMA’s minimum standard through blood tests and medical examinations:

Benjamin Deller-Smith
Danny Joel
Dylan Sheehan
Ella Wu
Emrah Sonmez
Michael Jones
Sean Carter
Wendy Mckenna

BCMMA works with the United Kingdom Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UKMMAF) as its regulatory advisor.

Clan Wars 26 in Belfast,  Northern Ireland, features 2 professional competitors medically cleared to Safe MMA’s minimum standard ahead of tomorrow’s show on 4th December. Overseen by the  Ulster Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Association (UAMMAA), the medical paperwork of Amateur competitors is handled internally at this time.

Professional Safe MMA clear competitors are:

Daniel Rutkowski
Dylan Logan

Meanwhile, MFC 1 in the Republic of Ireland is required to meet higher medical standards as set by regional governing body, the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association, with all Amateurs required to achieve minimum Safe MMA clearance though blood tests and annual medicals.

The all Amateur card has been confirmed as medically approved for tonight’s event, with the following fighters featured:

Dawid Wiśnios
Fabrizio Malizia
Gary Coffey
Grzegorz Konopa
Lukasz Slawata
Mikey Finn
Paulius Zabinskas
Philip Kroupa
PJ Cunningham
Richie Stack
Szczepan Ziolkowski
Waldemar Cichy

Last weekend on 27 November, 4 professional competitors were medically cleared by Safe MMA to compete at Akuma FC 9 in Northern Ireland; with Amateurs required to submit medical paperwork locally to the Ulster Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Association. Safe MMA approved the following fighters:

Adam Gustab
Niall Smith
Paul Lawrence
Steve Owens