UFC legend Diego Sanchez issued a warning about brain trauma in MMA, suggesting that his “soul has been raped many times in this business.”
One of the most durable fighters in UFC history, Sanchez has been outspoken about the damage that he’s endured during his 15-plus years fighting in the Octagon. The 39-year-old American recently said his next fight will be his last, citing concerns with brain trauma among the reasons why he is retiring.
On Saturday night, the issue of brain trauma was back in full display when Calvin Kattar took an obscene amount of damage against Max Holloway at UFC on ABC 1. Sanchez was among those watching the fight, and he couldn’t help but take notice of the vicious beating Kattar was receiving. “The Nightmare” took to his social media and shared the following warning to Kattar.
I do! the trauma all differ in size and numbers. The body not the mind changes to protect its self, hence the hestation of the bubble that comes with these traumatizing experiences in that space. Yes I do know actually. My soul has been raped many times in this business — Diego Sanchez
Unfortunately for MMA fighters, the issue of brain trauma is a very real one, though one that many fighters do not experience until later in their careers. We recently heard the sad story of former UFC fighter Spencer Fisher, who is dealing with serious health issues in retirement. Ultimately, MMA is a very violent sport and brain trauma is a very real thing. But research into it helps, and the UFC recently donated $1 million to the Cleveland Clinic for its studies.