Injury Rates Amongst Major MMA Fight Camps

Earlier this week, I looked at the epidemic of UFC fights being cancelled or changed due to fighters suffering an injury in training. I generated some statistics on how the fighters from Team Alpha Male have seemingly avoided having to pull out of fights at the same rate as their opponents.  Based on discussion of that article, I decided to do some research on other fight camps, and their rates of injury.  Some comments on the article had suggested that higher weightclasses would have higher injury rates, or that other gyms may be doing things similar to Team Alpha Male.  Here are some facts I found.

Injury Rates Amongst Major MMA Fight Camps

Although many would have guessed that heavier weight classes result in more injuries, it turns out that two gyms centered around lower weight classes are the most injury prone.

Team Roufusport took home the prize of the most injury prone team, with fighters withdrawing due to injury in 16.6% of their scheduled fights. The Milwaukee based fight camp is led by striking coach Duke Roufus, and features UFC champion Anthony Pettis and lightweight Erik Koch.

Nova Uniao  saw an injury rate of 14.6 %, with UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo, former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao and Hacran Dias leading the team in injuries.

The stats have been organized in a way that reflects fights under Zuffa owned promotions (UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, Invicta) since January 1st, 2009,  by current UFC fighters in order to understand which fight camps have had the biggest impact on the rise of injuries under Zuffa promotions within the last few years.

Team Alpha Male won the prize of the least injury prone fight camp, as within their last 87 scheduled fights, they withdrew because of injury 3 times, a 3.4% rate.  The next closest team also hails from California, as American Kickboxing Academy, led by Heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, have an injury rate of 6.8%.

Oddly, these 10 teams when calculated as a whole, contain 90 injuries and 104 opponent injuries, meaning that smaller camps most likely have a higher rates of injuries, or that fighters who were consistently injured are no longer fighting under Zuffa.

Full MMA Fight Camp Breakdowns (Sorted by Injury %)

Camp Scheduled Self Injury Percentage Opponent Injury Late Replacement
Roufusport 60 10 16.60% 6 2
Nova Uniao 75 11 14.60% 10 1
Blackzilians 56 7 12.00% 11 2
Team Tri-Star 92 10 10.80% 9 0
Black House 103 9 8.70% 12 3
Alliance MMA 97 8 8.20% 10 3
Greg Jackson 181 15 8.20% 16 7
American Top Team 148 12 8.10% 14 8
AKA 73 5 6.80% 6 1
Team Alpha Male 87 3 3.40% 10 4
Total 972 90 9.26% 104 32


Check in next week to Last Word On Sports, where I will break down each division’s Top 15 ranked fighters to see which division has seen the most injuries since 2009.


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