Concussions are a serious injury and a hot topic in sports these days, especially the more violent sports like football, boxing and MMA. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance, coordination, and sleep patterns.
If you’ve been following Javier Torres’ blog or have checked out Ryan McGillivray’s blog on ProMMANow, you’d know the Team Dos Santos fighter suffered a concussion in his opening round bout with Len Bentley. Dropped with a left hook early into the opening round, McGillivray would later find out that he suffered a concussion.
Prior to returning to the house, McGillivray saw a doctor who discovered he’d suffered a concussion. “The doctors fully explained all of the risks involved. They were very open and honest about the pros and cons of me fighting and all risks involved,” explained McGillivray. Surprisingly the doctors didn’t rule him unable to fight, leaving the decision to continue in the hands of the fighter, “The decision was 100% my own and I stand by it,” said McGillivray about continuing in the competition.
Back at the house and on everyone’s television set it was as if McGillivray was perfectly fine coming out of his opening round win. “I never told anyone from the show as I didn’t want to lose my opportunity. After coming from the hospital I told them that I was good to go,” explained McGillivray. Unless you were looking for it or there in the house, there were clues that something was wrong. “Every day he was having headaches and was really bad…..he was doing no sparring since the fist fight,” teammate Javier Torres wrote in his episode nine blog.
“No, I wasn’t able to spar and I only trained part of 2 days besides running every session,” McGillivray confirmed.
Having a concussion and not being able to fully train, yet somehow still in the competition, McGillivray took on Tony Ferguson for a spot in the semifinals. Ferguson landed a clean left uppercut that sent McGillivray slowly to the canvas, essentially ending the fight. Though the punch was solid it’s hard not to believe the concussion played into the rather easy knockout.
“I do believe it affected me in some ways as it must. Though it is not in any way an excuse. There is no way to say if that punch would have had the same result if I was healthy or otherwise. Tony has very heavy good hands and at the end of the day I got caught,” McGillivray recalled.
Looking back on it, McGillivray doesn’t regret continuing in the competition and feels blessed to have even been on the show. “I fought with my heart and soul and made the best of what I have to offer. Everyone runs the risk of fighting injured (ie Shamar’s back, Clay’s finger). None of us use them as excuses because it it the reality of the competition,” McGillivray discussed.
While the decision to continue might not have been the smartest or safest move by all parties involved, you cannot question the heart of McGillivray. Everyone dodged a bullet this time as things could have been different and I’d hope that things will be handled differently next time……