MMA Injury Update: Bader, Mighty Mouse, Nurmagomedov and Brimage

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Promoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.

There are a couple of fighters scheduled to make their return from injury, one whose recent injury doesn't seem to be serious, and one who will be out for a long time. Let's look at some rehab and recovery tidbits about these fighters.

Making Their Return

Ryan Bader- Bader is scheduled to fight Glover Teixeira in September at UFC of Fox Sports 1. Bader withdrew from his UFC 160 fight with Teixeria due to a medial collateral ligament knee injury. He recently Tweeted the following video, showing him sprinting on an uphill incline with no brace on his knee. High level activity like this indicates that Bader's rehab from this injury is probably complete at this point.

Demetrious Johnson- "Mighty Mouse" makes his return to the Octagon to face John Moraga July 27th at UFC on Fox 8. Johnson underwent shoulder surgery in March to repair a torn labrum. In a couple of posts on the MMA Injury blog (here and here), I discussed the significance of the labrum and the surgery that he had.

At this late stage of his recovery, Johnson is probably working on techniques to restore proper sequencing to his shoulder movement. Sequencing refers to the shoulder joint's ability to move in a controlled, coordinated fashion as part of the kinetic chain of movement. Why is sequencing important? As I've noted before, the power for a strike is initiated in the legs, then transferred from the legs to the trunk. As the arm starts to extend during a strike, the shoulder directs the force in a coordinated fashion from the trunk to the arm, and ultimately to the target via the hand. If a fighter such as Johnson has difficulty controlling the subtle movements of the shoulder (ie, maintaining it's proper sequencing when delivering a strike), he could have continued pain and dysfunctional movement patterns of the shoulder. This slow motion video of a boxer striking is a good demonstration of how the shoulder transmits rotational force from the trunk to deliver a strike.

Maybe Not Too Serious?

After his UFC 160 win over Abel Trujillo, Khabib Nurmagomedov received a 180 day medical suspension, unless his left knee was cleared by a doctor. On the day after the fight he Tweeted news that he injured his knee in the first round. However, three days later on May 29th he Tweeted the following picture, showing him in a full squat (2nd from right).

It's my experience that those with serious, acute knee injuries usually cannot squat to such a degree.

Out For Months

UFC featherweight Marcus Brimage last fought in April, when he lost to Conor McGregor at UFC on Fuel TV 9. In late May, he suffered a devastating Achilles tendon tear while training, and had surgery early this month to repair the damage. His manager expects Brimage to be out for a six-to-nine month time frame. Brimage will likely be non-weightbearing for a few weeks, and will progress to walking with an immobilizer boot after that. Then the tedious process of rehabilitation will begin.

One of the most famous athletes of our time, Kobe Bryant, is currently recovering from the same injury. We can use his recovery to gain some insight into Brimage's future as he recovers. Dr. Robert Klapper, an orthopedic surgeon, has posted some excellent Tweets over the past few months commenting on Kobe's recovery. (He's worth a follow @DrRobertKlapper). He notes that in Achilles surgery, the tendon is shortened just slightly. This allows for solid scar tissue formation at the tear. The Achilles will stretch slightly after the repair, but because it was slightly shortened to begin with, it balances out.

Brimage should take special interest that Nike apparently designed a shoe just for Kobe Bryant to help in his recovery. (Kobe is calling them the "Medical Mamba" shoes. Geesh...)


Kobe is shown walking on an AlterG treadmill, wearing his "Medical Mamba" shoes. These shoes have a heel lift and extra support for the Achilles. The advantage of the shoe is that it allows for ankle motion while protecting the Achilles as it continues to heal. These shoes are an exciting development for rehabilitation after an Achilles tear. If they prove to be effective at returning athletes to earlier weight bearing, I hope that Nike mass produces them.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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