Dr. Benjamin: Struve, Silva should retire

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Steph Daniels: What are your thoughts on the series of punches Stefan Struve ate that not only dislodged a tooth, but fractured his jaw

Johnny Benjamin: When I saw it, I wasn’t really surprised, because when I see a fighter get tired and start mouth breathing, trying to get as much air as possible into their lungs, I always think it’s just a matter of time before they get their jaw broken. If you’re not clenched down on that mouthpiece, you’re very susceptible to what happened. We all know that Mark Hunt punches like a mule kicks, so it wasn’t surprising at all, the outcome of that fight.

SD: How long would you personally recommend that Struve stay away from combat activity, considering the severity of his injuries?

JB: Many people think, and Stefan will probably think, ‘The doctor said I’m good to go, so I’ll get right back in the gym and go at it’, but, even though we’re great at healing bones, it’s not so easy to heal the brain. How many times has he been knocked out? I know he’s a young man, but he’s been knocked out more than a few times.

At some point, someone really needs to ask the question, should he still be fighting? That many concussions, so quickly, and at this young age … a person has two types of age, chronological and physiologic age. Stefan’s license may say he’s 25, but in physiologic years, he’s much, much older than that, with all the concussive force that he’s sustained.

SD: We just watched Wanderlei Silva go for broke in his fight with Brian Stann and sustain several blows that put him on the canvas, yet he came back for the victory. What are your thoughts there?

JB: Anybody who loves fighting, loves Wanderlei Silva. You just can’t not like Wanderlei. It’s impossible. Once again, if you like human beings, if you like people who can still remember where they put their car keys or the names of their kids, Then you should have hope that there’s a life after fighting for Wandy, because he won’t fight forever, and he won’t live a long life if he continues doing what he’s doing.

The types of concussive force that he’s sustained can also lead to depression, which can make it a pretty difficult life in the future. I’ve been saying it for a few years now, Wandy, I love you, but please stop. Please retire.

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