Should Pat Barry take a year off?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Dr. Johnny Benjamin@DrJCBenjamin
Pat Barry took a lot of huge shots and gets KO’d. 2-4 in last 6. 2 KO losses in last 12 months. His brain needs mandatory 1 yr rest.

I think particular fighters need to take a year off from contact due to the amount of head trauma they’ve recently received. A perfect example is UFC heavyweight Pat Barry, who has experienced two spectacular KO losses since June 2011. (This is not intended to be disrespectful toward him in any way.)

The year off would provide an opportunity for his brain to heal without the continued insult of smaller (sub-concussive) blows that are a routine part of MMA training.

A year is roughly the average amount of time nervous tissue needs to heal; after 12 months – for better or worse – it is what it is.

During 2011 there were roughly 260 fights and 76 KO/TKOs sustained.

The average win percentage of UFC fighters prior to them experiencing a KO/TKO was roughly 63 percent. The (very likely post-concussion) fighters who have gone on to fight again within one year have seen their win rate plummet to approximately 44 percent.

I understand you want to get back in there as quickly as possible, but if you’re not likely to perform well, then what’s the point? Who needs another L?

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Dr. Johnny Benjamin is’s medical columnist and consultant and a noted combat-sports specialist. He is also a member of the Association of Boxing Commissions’ MMA Medical Subcommittee. Dr. Benjamin writes an “Ask the Doc” column approximately every two weeks for To submit a question for a future column, email him at askthedoc [AT] You can find Dr. Benjamin online at, and you can read his other sports-related articles at