MMA Injury Updates: Three Knees and a Neck **Updated**

The past couple of days have given us another knee injury for WMMA fighter, and an eye injury to a high-profile UFC fighter. In the long run, I think his eye will be the least of his worries, and I'll tell you why later.

Carla Esparza

Carla "Cookie Monster" Esparza, the strawweight champ for InvictaFC, confirmed yesterday that she has suffered a knee injury. This will keep her out of from her scheduled July 13th fight at Invicta FC 6. In her Tweet announcing the injury, she noted that a "tear" was recently confirmed in the knee. My immediate thought was that she possibly had suffered an ACL tear. However, she later Tweeted the following:

She indicates that she will be "good" in 4-6 weeks. Obviously, a short recovery time such as this does not portend an injury as severe as an ACL. I would expect possibly a meniscus tear in the knee, and if surgery was indicated, it was probably done via arthroscope.

Michael Bisping

Ariel Helwani Tweeted yesterday that Bisping recently had surgery to repair a torn retina.

More interesting to me is the comment that Bisping has received a cortisone shot to "fix" his neck problem. It was just April when Bisping was indicating that he was going to have surgery to correct this problem. As noted in this article posted on, Bisping stated,

"I have a trapped nerve, and it's called atrophy, which is muscle loss, weakness and numbness in my right arm."

It doesn't appear that he has had this surgery. Therefore, I presume that he received the injection in his neck to help control the symptoms and allow him to continue training. Most concerning about this entire scenario is Bisping's admission that he is having arm weakness as a consequence of the nerve problem. It seems unlikely to me that simply having an injection would resolve the problem of muscle weakness. If the weakness and muscle atrophy progresses, he will probably have no other choice than to have surgery.

Cat Zingano

Cat continues her recovery from surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus. (Shameless plug: here is my Fanpost on about her injury.) Early this morning, she Tweeted a new picture of her healing knee.

Comparing this picture to others that she has posted, the knee swelling seems to be going down, which is good. The early goals in the first couple of weeks after ACL surgery include controlling swelling, pain and inflammation and regaining full range of motion of the knee, especially full extension (straightening). Addressing these goals will help to prevent future complications as her rehab progresses. Zingano notes that she will start physical therapy soon. As an interesting side note, it appears from the location of the big incision on the lower part of the knee that Cat could have had a semitendinosus graft to replace the ACL rather than the patella tendon graft. The semitendinosus is one of the hamstring muscles.

Dominick Cruz

While rehabbing from ACL surgery, Cruz suffered a second devastating injury to the same knee in November of last year, in which he tore the replaced ACL. (You can read more about the injury on my MMA Injury blog.) Cruz is making slow but steady progress in his recovery. Yesterday, he Tweeted that he had been cleared to begin boxing.

This is a substantial step in the progression of Dominick's rehab. Boxing will entail more dynamic movement on the injured knee, more than simple straight line forward/backward or side-to-side movements. He will have to start planting and cutting on the injured leg. I expect that his boxing/sparring will start in a very controlled situation, under the close supervision of a member of his training and rehab team. They will be looking for any sign of knee instability, pain or fatigue. At this point, I still do not expect Cruz to return to the Octagon before early 2014.


Earlier today (June 6), I tweeted Cat Zingano asking about the type of ACL graft that she had. Here was her response.

This explains the lack of a midline incision over the patella tendon- she didn't have a patella tendon autograft. Let's hope that she has better results with the cadaver graft than Dominick Cruz.

\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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