The injury bug has done a number on the UFC’s roster over the past several weeks. Countless superstars are presently sitting on the IR, including three current champions, one of whom is the Octagon’s biggest pay-per-view draw in welterweight king Georges St-Pierre.
While the number of the walking wounded seems to be climbing by the minute, bringing the level of frustration to unprecedented heights among fans, UFC president Dana White (Pictured) isn’t pulling his hair out over it. And it’s not just because he dons a bald dome.
“I’m numb to it now,” White revealed to Fuel TV on Friday. “Last year when the stuff started happening it was devastating. Now, I’ve chalked it up to this is part of the business, part of the deal.”
When asked why his athletes appear to be falling like rocks, and more importantly, what can be done to prevent future UFC cards from getting ravaged by injuries, White professed his fighters need to be more responsible as they prepare for battle.
“I think what’s happening too, and me and [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva were talking about this, you have so many talented guys out there now all in the same camp, going at it like they’re fighting for the title,” White expressed. “These guys need to tone it down in training a bit and stop hurting each other.”
From a promoter’s perspective, White’s philosophy makes sense. However, it’s a tough sell to fighters who believe they need to push their bodies to the absolute limits in order to win and retain their jobs.
White doesn’t believe the free medical insurance they started offering their independent contractors last summer has played a role in their expanding injured list. Whether it’s a string of bad luck, a growing trend or something in between, fans are starting to get tired of hearing this broken record.
Since last month, featherweight champion Jose Aldo, bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz, Vitor Belfort, Thiago Silva, Thiago Alves, Brian Stann and Michael Bisping have all been hurt during training and forced the UFC to reshuffle the lineups in their shows.