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01-04-2012, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Thordic View Post
I'll throw some ideas out there.

Bareknuckle boxing is one of the safest contact sports. I think there's only one recorded fatality in over a century.

MMA, which uses very light 4oz gloves, has a surprisingly low concussion rate.

Boxing, which uses heavy 12 to 16oz gloves, has a fairly high concussion rate.

So if you look at other combat sports, fighting with bare fists tends to be much "safer" than fighting with any sort of glove, and concussions are rare (although they tend to be bloodier on average, the damage is temporary). Why would hockey be any different? Volume of fights? Doubtful. There are plenty of low to mid-tier MMA fighters who fight 10-12 times a year (which would be a decent amount for an NHL enforcer). Boxers, on the other hand, only fight 2-6 times a year and they still have higher concussion rates.

It really makes me wonder about how much of the medical issues enforcers have are fighting related, or due to surrounding issues (drugs, stress, etc). Not to mention that unlike the above, a hockey player is on skates and therefore can't plant their feet and get full power behind their punches.

I think concussions are a big problem in NHL, that much is clear, but how much ties back to fighting is a big question mark. I think equipment (oversized & overly hard pads) and increased speed are more to blame.
Where did you get stats on bareknuckle boxing and concussions?

What is the concussion rate in MMA?

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