There was a potential fight-ending moment during Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway 3 at UFC 276 this past Saturday.
The UFC featherweight champion opened up a gruesome cut directly above the left eye of the challenger with a right hand in the second round. The cut bled profusely, and its depth and width were concerning enough to potentially warrant a doctor’s stoppage, but Holloway avoided one.
How? Dr. Brian Sutterer and Dr. David Abbasi have the answers.
Sutterer reacted to Holloway and his cut on his YouTube channel, where he explained how the cutman — Rob Monroe — properly addressed it throughout the fight.
“To actually stop the bleeding, the cutman has some different tools,” said Sutterer. “Number one is going to be just direct compression. So whenever you have a cut, there’s little blood vessels that get torn, and the more you can compress those blood vessels together, the more you can induce that clotting process to get the bleeding to stop.
“They can also put different medications on these Q-tips that actually cause some vasoconstriction, meaning some squeezing or clamping off of the blood vessels to again try to minimize that blood flow to the area,” continued Sutterer. “So there’s probably some sort of medication here on this Q-tip that he’s sticking in that area.”
Sutterer also explained how the use of Vaseline was vital in ensuring the cut did not worsen.
“The other thing we see used a lot is the Vaseline and that does a couple of things,” said Sutterer. “Number one, it helps to sort of plug up that space. It’s a very thick substance to try to basically occupy where that cut is. Number two, it sort of makes the skin more slippery so that if a blow does come in, it’s more likely to glance and slide off, decreasing that friction that like we talked about earlier in the video is likely to cause that tear to happen.”
Abbasi revealed what one of the medications was likely in the Q-tips used on Holloway.
These swabs into the cuts inbetween rounds- they contain chemicals such as Epinephrine which help the blood vessels to constrict, and blood to clot.— David Abbasi, MD (@DrDavidAbbasi) July 3, 2022
After fight- When we sew up these complex lacerations, we line up edges like a puzzle and sew…#UFC276 #MaxHolloway pic.twitter.com/0ci8ab9FOd
“These swabs into the cuts in between rounds,” wrote Abbasi on Twitter. “They contain chemicals such as Epinephrine which help the blood vessels to constrict, and blood to clot.”
Volkanovski defeated Holloway by unanimous decision, his third win over the former UFC featherweight king in nearly three years. The ‘Great’ has now successfully defended his championship four times and suggested a move to lightweight for a chance to become a two-division champion in his next appearance.
Holloway praised Volkanovski in his post-fight statement and declared him the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.