Medical Suspensions Do Not Keep Fighters Out of the Gym

Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

After every major sanctioned MMA event we see the list of medical suspensions handed out to fighters. Even fighters who didn't take much punishment tend to be handed the standard 14 day no-contact medical suspension. That was the case after UFC 129 for Jason MacDonald among others. Earlier today MacDonald tweeted that he was "Back home and back to the gym!"

While MacDonald won in the first round with a triangle choke, he still went through some punishment in training and took at least one slam during the fight ending choke. The point of the 14 day precautionary suspension is simply to allow the fighter's body (and brain) a couple weeks to recover. It's also worth noting that when athletic commissions are the ones holding your ability to compete in their hands, it's probably a fine idea to listen to what they have to say and give your body a few days even if you feel like jumping right back in to training.

Obviously this is nowhere near as bad as Dan Hardy's comments leading up to UFC Fight Night 24. On the conference call for the event Hardy flat out admitted that he does not care about medical suspensions, even in the wake of his violent KO loss to Carlos Condit. From Mike Fagan's conference call notes:

- Hardy: The Monday morning after the Condit fight I was back in the gym. I was annoyed that I let myself and my fans down.
...
- Hardy: I wasn't quite sure how the medical suspension works. If someone tells me I can't punch for 30 days, I'm not going to listen to them.

Look, fighters are tough people, you'd have to be to fight at the highest level for a living. But it is a failure of a fighter's camp if they are allowing their fighters to risk their health, as well as their licensing status to rush back into the gym. Fighters and trainers need to just accept the suspensions, serve them and then get back to the grind.

After the jump, more UFC 129 news, analysis and results from Bloody Elbow.

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