Last May, former Bellator MMA featherweight Jordan Parsons was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Florida. However, a recent report showed that his physical condition before the accident was already headed towards another form of tragedy.
Speaking to the Boston Globe, forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu revealed that the 25-year-old Parsons was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is associated with repeated blows to the head, and is commonly found in NFL players and some WWE wrestlers.
It is often argued that MMA is the “safer” contact sport compared to football or boxing. But that may no longer be the case, according to Dr. Omalu.
“These findings confirm that the danger of exposure to CTE is not limited to just football, hockey, and wrestling. Mixed martial arts is also a dangerous sport, and it’s time for everyone to embrace the truth.’’
While there have not been any deaths in the UFC octagon, several instances have already taken place in other promotion companies. In April, Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho died after his fight against Conor McGregor’s teammate Charlie Ward in Dublin. Carvalho remained in a critical state for 48 hours before passing away.
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