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Charity’s sadness over death of amateur MMA fighter

Tue 19 Nov 2019

Headway has expressed its sadness over the death of Saeideh Aletaha who died following a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bout on Saturday in Southampton.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of this tragic loss of life and our thoughts are with Saeideh’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

“This tragic incident again highlights the stark risks involved in MMA no matter what medical provision is provided at ringside.

“The evidence – backed by the British Medical Association (BMA) and numerous other medical associations across the world – is that the cumulative effect of repeated blows to the head can cause permanent brain injury – so why are we letting sports like this continue?

"At a time when responsible sports bodies are rightly taking action to improve their concussion protocols to ensure participants are properly cared for when accidental collisions occur, it seems perverse that MMA can be allowed to continue to encourage trauma to the brain.

"There is no conceivable way in which MMA can even remotely be considered safe. Quite rightly, the focus at this time should be on supporting Saeideh’s family. But the question remains: how many lives will be lost before we ban this incredibly dangerous sport?”

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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