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Cris Cyborg speculates MMA fighters getting arrested for domestic violence could be the result of CTE

Cristine 'Cyborg' Justino [Image courtesy: @criscyborg on Instagram]
Cristine 'Cyborg' Justino [Image courtesy: @criscyborg on Instagram]
Frank Bonada

Following the news that former UFC champion Chuck Liddell has been arrested for domestic abuse, Cris Cyborg has suggested it may well be a result of CTE. Liddell is one of several former/current fighters who have recently been convicted of domestic abuse, with both Jon Jones and Luis Pena having also been arrested in the last month alone.

One of the first signs of widespread CTE in the NFL came when close family members started to notice violent changes in their loved ones personalities. We are still new to the sport of MMA and just now discovering the lasting effects of competition.

Likely in response to Liddell's arrest, Cris Cyborg took to Twitter to raise her concerns that due to MMA still being a relatively new sport, the long term repercussions of the often concussive fights may be causing CTE. She stated that:

"One of the first signs of widespread CTE in the NFL came when close family members started to notice violent changes in their loved ones personalities. We are still new to the sport of MMA and just now discovering the lasting effects of competition."

Over the past decade, it has come to light that NFL players often suffer from CTE towards the end of their career and into their retirements. There have even been cases, such as Aaron Hernandez, where it has been discovered that athletes in their mid twenties are already suffering from it.


What is CTE?

CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It is a "progressive brain condition that's thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion" (as per the NHS).

Former UFC lightweight Spencer Fisher made headlines last year after it was revealed he was struggling with what appeared to be signs of CTE. He was unable to tandem walk or hop on one foot. On a day-to-day basis, Fisher is reportedly prone to suffering from memory loss, dizziness, depression and severe headaches.

UFC president Dana White commente on the matter of Fisher having CTE, giving a rather bleak take on the issue. He stated that:

“He’s not the first and he’s definitely not going to be the last. This is a contact sport and anybody who’s done this younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s part of the gig."
Dana White to @MMAjunkieJohn on @MMAFightingSM's article about Spencer Fisher:"He's not the first and he's definitely not going to be the last. This is a contact sport and anybody who's ever done this younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It's part of the gig"

Edited by John Cunningham

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