Examples of staph infections are found within the MMA arena. Goyito Perez suffered a severe staph infection in his leg. According to Dr. Michael Kelly, sports medicine specialist, staph infections are common in MMA. It’s not uncommon for doctors to encounter MMA grapplers, wrestlers, and fighters with skin staph infections. This happens due to all the skin-to-skin contact that is part of the sport. Some fighters try to heal staph with natural remedies with varying degrees of success. Some people say garlic works because it is a natural antibiotic, and some say the back pain relieving, anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric also help.
It’s perplexing that MMA fighters, grapplers, boxers, and wrestlers don’t realize the importance of getting every little rash, skin issue, and cut checked out. They don’t seem to understand the importance of ruling out staph and/or getting early treatment for it. It propagates so quickly through unclean equipment, skin-to-skin, and other related contact, that fighters need to realize how important it is to get it in check, fast. They can take these infections home to their wives, children, and family members.
According to Dr. Kelly, he has had to shut down teams due to staph infection outbreaks. The New Jersey regulations in MMA state that when two or more individuals are diagnosed with staph, the whole program has to be shut down and evaluated. The facilities they use have to be cleaned, the athletes have to be treated and cleared, and the locker room has to undergo a thorough cleaning before they are able to start up the program again. The goal is to prevent it from spreading and to clear the facilities and athletes.
MMA fighters don’t like to take time off from their training and competitions, but it’s all on them when they fail to recognize how important staph infections are and how they can not only shut down their program, but affect other fighters and their families. If they were to pay attention to skin rashes and cuts, make sure the equipment they are using is clean before and after use, and raise awareness of the importance of understanding staph, maybe things will change in MMA.