The UFC injury bug has staggered the organization this year. The numbers have skyrocketed beyond any other year in the promotion's 19 year history. If you want to get a better understanding, check out this piece from MMA Fighting. Fans and media have been speculating constantly as to what could be the root of it. Everything from brutal training regimens to Fighter X being afraid to fight Fighter Z has been discussed. Conspiracy theory runs rampant where this topic is concerned. I've asked numerous fighters their thoughts on the subject, and most tend to agree that it's due to fierce competition leading to training much harder for a fight, which then leaves a door open to injury.
In a recent interview we conducted, Charlie Brenneman gave his opinion on the subject, specifically about the most recent point of speculation, that fighter insurance is the reason fighters are more injury prone. Here's what Charlie had to say:
Interviewer: What do you think is the root cause for so many of these fighters to be getting injured?
Charlie Brenneman: It's interesting that you ask that. I recently put out a feeler on Twitter to get some feedback. I read a lot of stuff about the insurance policy, and people blaming it, 'Oh, now they have insurance, so they're bailing early.' It's an accident insurance policy with a deductible. We're not getting paid for our fight. We're not getting paid anything. A significant amount of money is coming out of our pocket. It's not like we're saying, 'I'm just gonna bail, collect this paycheck and rest.' To think that someone would bail because of it, I just don't agree with it.
It may have somewhat of an impact, but I don't know. Off the top of my head, it looks like it's chance occurrences. Can that much chance happen at the same time? I don't know. You'd have to put more research into actually figuring out the cause. From an impulsive response standpoint, I would say it's just part of the game.
More after the jumpWe also spoke to Charlie about his initial, knee-jerk reaction to UFC 151 being cancelled and Jon Jones.
Interviewer: When this debacle first went down, what exactly did you see from your perspective?
Charlie Brenneman: Initially, it was like having the rug pulled out from under you. It just kind of made me think, 'Are you serious? How did this happen?' It wasn't desperation, but we make plans for the money, we have families. You've got to evaluate in a split second. To be honest, I tried to stay as optimistic as possible, and thanks to Joe Silva, and my manager, Mike Constantino, they were able to get me on 152. Basically, all that really happened was that I got an extra couple weeks to prepare. In hindsight, it wasn't such a bad thing.
Interviewer: As far as Jon Jones goes, is it just a case of bygones now?
Charlie Brenneman: I don't think I really said anything that was unwarranted. I still feel the same way. I don't hate him. I'm not mad at him, but I still feel the same way. I don't regret saying anything. I'm past it. I don't know if he and his team hold, or will hold a grudge, and that's not really my concern. I'm just back to me and focusing on getting ready for my fight.
You can follow Charlie via his Twitter, @spaniardmma