A University of Toronto study has revealed that head injuries suffered during mixed martial arts (MMA) are more severe and fatal than those received during boxing, football, hockey and other martial arts forms.
Researchers found that about 13 per cent of MMA ended in knockouts and 21 per cent ended in technical knockouts.
They said that concussion rates in MMA were greater than hockey and football and suggested that referees should receive more specialised training to be able to understand early signs of a concussion.
The study suggested that in fights that ended with a technical knockout, the loser was hit on average more than 18 times and 92 per cent of the blows straight away affected the head.
"Given that participation at amateur levels of the sport is growing rapidly, we expect to see high rates of traumatic brain injuries at more junior levels of amateur competition. These points strongly argue for banning the sport in youth and for preventive strategies to reduce the burden of traumatic brain injuries in professional MMA fighters," the researchers said.
But UFC, the biggest brand in MMA fighting, said that they have always taken all necessary measures and measures to ensure the safety of the fighters.
The study was published in American Journal of Sports Medicine.