A recent systematic review of the epidemiologic data on injuries in MMA attempted to estimate the injury incidence in mixed martial arts and MMA trainer kicking bagassess the risk factors for injuries. This review found the most commonly injured anatomic region was the head (range, 66.8%-78.0%) followed by the wrist/hand (range, 6.0%-12.0%). The most frequent injury types were laceration (range, 36.7%-59.4%), fracture (range, 7.4%-43.3%), and concussion (range, 3.8%-20.4%).

The most notable risk factors for injury were directly related to the outcome of bouts. Losers incurred 3 times as many injuries as winners, and fighters in bouts ending with knockout or technical knockout incurred more than 2 times as many injuries as fighters in bouts ending with submission.

In general, the injury pattern in MMA is very similar to that in professional boxing. More epidemiologic research is urgently needed to improve the accuracy of the injury incidence estimate, to determine the injury severity, and to identify more risk factors for injury in MMA.

Source: The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2014