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Purposes: To determine actions during bouts that generate serious enough injury to stop the bout; verifying the injury incidence, types, and prevalence of doctor stoppages (doc-stoppage); and identify potential risk factors by analyzing technical-tactical profiles for injury in sanctioned mixed martial arts bouts taking place over a 12-y period. Methods: This research analyzed 440 paired mixed martial arts matches separated by doc-stoppage (n = 220) and no doc-stoppage (n = 220) from 2002 to 2014. Technical knockouts for doc-stoppage were diagnosed and managed by attending ringside doctors, and the time–motion variables were categorized into total combat time separated by low- or high-intensity activities per round, stand-up, or groundwork actions, P ≤ .05. Results: The main cause of injuries in doc-stoppage situations was due to facial injuries (>90%), with 87.1% occurring after striking actions during the second round. Lacerations were the leading type of injury, which occurred with 80% frequency. The results showed differences between doc-stoppage and no doc-stoppage for standing combat with low-intensity actions (130.6 [8.5] s vs 83.3 [6.9] s for first round; 115.7 [10.5] s vs 100.1 [9.6] s for second round, and 121.5 [19.5] s vs 106.3 [11.7] s for third round) and total strike attempts (34.5, 23.0–51.8 vs 25.0, 12.0–40.8); in standing combat, head strike attempts (21, 10–33 vs 11, 4–21) and body strikes (2.5, 1.0–5.8 vs 1.0–2), and in groundwork combat, head strikes landed (0.0–3.0 vs 0.0–5.0). Conclusions: This research showed higher values of strike attempts with 2 main orientations, namely the head (on the ground and in stand-up actions) and body (in stand-up actions), and may provide important information regarding the technical knockout and when it can be called by officials supervising mixed martial arts bouts.

Miarka is with the Dept of Fights, School of Physical Education and Sport, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dal Bello is with the Physical Activity and Sports Science Master Program, University of Santo Tomás, Santiago, Chile. Del Vecchio is with the Physical Education School, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil. Brito is with the Physical Education Dept, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Governador Valadares, Brazil. Amtmann is with the Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene Dept, Montana Tech–University of Montana, Butte, MT. Chamari is with the Athlete Health and Performance Research Center, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.

Miarka (miarkasport@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Figure 1 (PDF 173 KB)
  • Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 146 KB)