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5/30/12 9:37 AM
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There has been a rare but continuing string of catastrophic injuries caused by executing a takedown while in a guillotine.

in 2009 Zach Kirk shot for a double leg in the main event of an amateur show, and got caught in a guiillotine. When the fight hit the ground, Kirk's fifth cervical vertebra shattered, bone fragments ground into his spinal cord, and his muscles went limp forever.

In 2010 Braulio Estima was temporarily paralysed while shooting for a single leg.

In early 2010 Franco Lescano was training at Argentina's Tiger Gym for his MMA debut when he attempted a takedown while caught in a guillotine. The resulting injury left him paralyzed from the neck down, and he died 21 days later.

Now a student at Urijah Faber's Ultimate Fitness is paralyzed, from the identical situation, as reported by Sacramento's News 10.

A mixed martial arts fighter is trying to get back on his feet after he suffered a critical injury during training at Ultimate Fitness.

Devin Johnson, 22, was sparring at the facility, located on the 1700 block of I Street on May 14 when he fell while in a headlock.

When Devin arrived at UC Davis Medical Center he was paralyzed. The impact from the fall dislocated Devin's spine.

"I was in shock at first. It wasn't really sinking in. It didn't really sink in -- and hasn't really sunk in yet either," said Johnson's girlfriend Tyler Miller, who quit her job to support him through this tragedy."It's sad, but he keeps me going. He's so strong, he just is a fighter. He keeps me going. If he can be this strong I can be as strong as he is," said Miller.

"What Mr. Johnson, unfortunately, had was injury between his fourth and fifth spine in his neck," said Dr. Kee Kim, Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery at UC Davis Medical Center.

Johnson's spine slipped and caused damage to the spinal cord, causing what's called facet fracture-dislocation. Kim used a metal implant to stabilize Johnson's spine. It was his first time treating a patient who suffered a spinal cord injury from MMA.

Initially, doctors told the family of Johnson it would take a miracle for him to recover. His chances were less than five percent.

Johnson is now awake and speaking from his hospital bed. He uses a ventilator to breathe and has feeling in his right arm.

"I was surprised that he has improved to that degree in such a short time, because,what I would have expected, what I would have predicted, was that there would not be improvement at all during that time period," said Kim.

"It's a long road ahead, especially for a young person who is healthy and vibrant and active."

Johnson has always dreamed of being in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He now wants to get out of bed and back to the gym.

"Hopefully we'll see him walking soon. That's our goal, that's his goal. He told me he's going to stay strong, he's never going to give up. It's going to be a long recovery but he'll never give up. I know he won't," said Miller.

In a phone conversation, Urijah Faber said he was not at the gym during Johnson's accident,  but was aware of what happened.  Faber shared his concern and support for the MMA fighter's recovery.

Johnson was scheduled to make his professional debut in September.

Family and friends set up a website to update people on Devin Johnson's progress. There's also information where you can make a donation to his medical expenses. 



Read entire article...

The rate of catastrophic injury rate for MMA is less than that for a number of physical activities, including cheerleading. However, catastrophic injury is possible, and with now multiple cases of permanent paralysis and a death resulting from a takedown while in a standing guillotine, trainers and athletes need to heighten their awareness.

Although MMA is regulated, the government cannot be relied on to prevent injury in our sport. It is up to the fighters, trainers, referees, and officials to develop on awareness that some aspects of the sport are exceptionally dangerous, and that catastrophic injury has resulted in the past, and in all likelihood will do so in future.

Driving into a double with the head trapped in a Guillotine can be fatal.


5/30/12 10:29 AM
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sly fox
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hope he recovers soon, terrible thing to happen
5/30/12 10:38 AM
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TSMontana
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Honestly, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more. Neck injuries were the one thing I always was concerned about, either when grappling, or MMA sparring.

Hoping for a recovery.
5/30/12 10:48 AM
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ChaosOverkill
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Pride Rules - 
Romney Care -  Silly noobs. Feel bad for his family :/ Hope all goes well! <img src="/images/phone/apple.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;" />

 fuck off 

you should be banned for calling someone a name in a situation like this

you arent needed or wanted around here.

5/30/12 10:53 AM
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armbarring
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duckhuntgangsta -  THis is horrible. I have a friend who became a quaddrapelegiec form a neck injury (car acident), 

How does this happen? Is it form continuing to exeute the TD while a the choke is being applied? 
neck goes down. body goe down and forward Phone Post
5/30/12 12:39 PM
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Granpa
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Damn.. Horrible situation. My thoughts go out to him and his family.
5/30/12 12:39 PM
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Kirik
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The Underground, Mayor for Life
duckhuntgangsta -  THis is horrible. I have a friend who became a quaddrapelegiec form a neck injury (car acident), 

How does this happen? Is it form continuing to exeute the TD while a the choke is being applied? 

 Yes. Coaches and fighters should be aware this has happened several times. I don't know of a single catastrophic injury from say spiking someone, but there have now been several from shooting a double while in a guillotine, including a death.

Spread the word UG, share on FB, discuss at gym, etc.
5/30/12 12:42 PM
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UGCTT_Fraser_Finlay
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This sucks... Feel bad for the guy...

:( Phone Post
5/30/12 12:57 PM
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Tomato Can
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Is this from the head getting spiked into the ground, or is this somehow happening during the takedown before they hit the ground?
5/30/12 12:57 PM
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Collin Reuter
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Horrible. Scary to think it could happen to anyone anytime. That's a really common position too. Really makes you wonder how fragile your neck really is. Phone Post
5/30/12 12:57 PM
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McBottery
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This stuff is real scary.  Feel horrible for this guy, hope his condition improves.
5/30/12 1:03 PM
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PatK
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 I don't know if it's just the media being its sensastionalistic self, but it seems that there have been a lot of cases of serious injuries from similar techniques/situations recently.

I don't know if it's the because the exploding popularity of MMA has led to some questionable and somewhat unqualified training and intsruction or not.

But isn't that Faber's gym?
5/30/12 1:07 PM
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Synado
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This exact scenario happened at my old Jiu Jitsu school. I hope the guy mends up and makes a full recovery.
5/30/12 1:09 PM
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Wasa-B
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duckhunt, good idea on ghte gracie breakdown idea.

btw, how does this happen exactly? Is it off the impact when both fighters hit the ground when in the guillotine? i suppose anytime someone has a hold of another's neck and there is a td (ie: moving impact) is involved, there is always some sort of risk.

would probably help too if a doctor or physio person could shed some light on this as well.
5/30/12 1:10 PM
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X_Rated
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This is very very scary. I see this happen all the time. People think that if they complete the td then there won't be leverage enough to hold the choke. Phone Post
5/30/12 2:58 PM
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mixedmartialfarts
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 Horrible news... hope Devin manages a full recovery
5/30/12 3:08 PM
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MickColins
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They had the best of pride on fuel yesterday where Mark Kerr goes for the double leg and knocks himself out because his head gets driven down on the takedown. Phone Post
5/30/12 3:41 PM
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damion
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Do people still teach the old school method of throwing the arm over the back ect. Would seem it's a little safer than just trying for a double leg.
5/30/12 3:45 PM
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Phil999
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cheerleading? that competition shit looks dangerous.
5/30/12 3:54 PM
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Sprawl'n'Stall
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I've always wondered why it doesn't happen more in football. Not that I wished it would! Just that leading with the head is never a good idea. At least complete the takedown to the side opposite of your head.

Being paralyzed like that is worse than death IMO. In nature, nobody would survive more than a few days, if that much, in such a state.

I fail to see how keeping them alive is "progress", unless the person affected wants to go on (like Christopher Reeves for example). Otherwise, those people are prisoners that pay the worse price while they did no crime.
5/30/12 4:04 PM
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Gokudamus stole my name
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Put me in as another guy thats confused in how this happens exactly.
5/30/12 4:19 PM
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decu68
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Edited: 05/30/12 4:21 PM
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I really feel for the guy and hope he makes a full recovery; and if not at least a manageable recovery that he leads a decent life. All my best.

I count myself lucky as during training I went to the ground head first during a counter throw which resulted in me crushing my C6 and C7 vertebra. Immediately went numb and couldn't move the right side of my body. This plagued me for almost a year having me see specialists that were going to operate but decided against it as may have been worse off. Physio, neck stretching and many pain killers and anti-imflamitories later I made a decent recovery but I will never be the same. Tried going back and trained further only continually re-injuring my neck and ended up further injurying it by crushing my C5. Had to put things on hold and that was back in June of 2009. Think about training continually but too afraid to make things worse; perhaps that is the smart thing I did.

It is a combat sport and things can happen while training and when competing. I guarantee you that these types of things happen and if not worse in other sports such as downhill skiing, race car driving, football, boxing, etc. Sadly the human body can only take so much and with many of us we push the limits.

Again my best to this young man and applaud his girlfriend for being there for him.
5/30/12 4:20 PM
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Rcs476
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Since it's been happening while in a takedown/guillotine situation, I wonder if the arm is acting a fulcrum that is causing the vertebrae to shift (possibly even lift and shift). Provided that the x-ray in the video is that of Devin's injury, it's the only thing that is making sense to me.

If it was the force of his head or face spiking into the mat, I would think that C3 (assuming that is the correct order) would be pushed into the spinal cord and C4 would be protruding forward as the body comes down.

Sad story either way, and I hope things can find a way to get better for him. Seems like he has good support.
5/30/12 4:39 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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terrible news
5/30/12 5:14 PM
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I<3BigfishBass!
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damion - Do people still teach the old school method of throwing the arm over the back ect. Would seem it's a little safer than just trying for a double leg.
This is what I was taught first.

I have been shown to takedown and pass to the opposite side as well.

Scary stuff Phone Post

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