Not all fighting in combat sports takes place within a ring or cage. Boxing's Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions are sometimes bitter rivals. And no love is lost between the UFC and Viacom, which owns Bellator MMA and GLORY kickboxing. But all sides will turn out at a press conference in Washington, DC on Feb 4 to announced their joint, ongoing support a crucial effort - the Cleveland Clinic Professional Fighters Brain Health Study.
Luke Thomas has the story for MMAFighting.
Figures in attendance will include:
•Todd duBoef, the President of Top Rank;
•Michael Chandler, Bellator MMA contender;
•Lorenzo Fertitta, Chairman and CEO of ZUFFA;
•Bernard Hopkins, American boxer
•Jon Jones, UFC light heavyweight champion;
•Kevin Kay, President of Spike TV (Bellator MMA, GLORY kickboxing);
•John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ)
•Harry Reid, US Senator (D-NV)
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions;
•Glover Teixeira, UFC contender; and,
•Representatives in charge of the study from the Cleveland Clinic will also be in attendance.
"In an unprecedented move, fierce competitors in the ring will put aside their long-standing rivalries to ensure research continues in a landmark study for professional fighters," said a press release issued Monday.
"Cleveland Clinic will announce it has received ongoing support to continue its Professional Fighters Brain Health Study from boxing entities Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank and mixed martial arts programs Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV's Bellator MMA and GLORY kickboxing. They will be joined by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) who will show their support for the study by joining executives from Cleveland Clinic, the fighting organizations at the announcement and several champions and top contenders. Sen. Reid was an amateur boxer in his youth, and Sen. McCain boxed at the U.S. Naval Academy and has been involved in legislation related to boxing since the mid-1990s."
The Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, which began in 2011, has measure changes in speech, cognitive reasoning, and other abilities related to brain activity in approximately 400 boxing and MMA competitors.
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