View Full Version : Chuck Liddell retirement talk

05-12-2009, 05:21 PM
Dr. Johnny Benjamin:

The fan in me wants to see Liddell fight every day or at least three times a week. But the orthopedic surgeon in me has a very different opinion.

I never want to see Chuck Liddell struck in the head again.

There is a lot of good clinical and basic science information coming out on the effects of repeated concussions. Currently, the NFL is grappling with the potential short and longterm physical and mental health consequences of multiple concussions. Some very interesting studies recently have been released regarding evaluations of the brains of deceased NFL players.

These studies have shown significant brain injury similar to those found in elderly people with significant dementia. Unfortunately, these brains were those of otherwise physically healthy men in their late 40s and early 50s. These men shared traits of suffering multiple concussions while playing in the NFL, such as memory loss, subsequent depression or mood disturbances, and death at an early age. People commonly only consider the potential physical ramifications of this pattern on injury (loss of coordination, slurred speech, headaches, poor balance, etc.)

Therefore, I humbly suggest that Mr. Hackleman reconsider his above statement.

For all those out there who casually state that "he should be allowed to fight and go out on his own terms," that's easy to say when it's not your health and life on the line. It's also easy to say when you are not a family member who would be responsible for him if things go horribly wrong.

Talk to a family member of a brain-injured person and listen to his or her story, or take a look at this clip of a once phenomenal young boxer named Meldrick Taylor from Philadelphia. And keep in mind that he was only 36 years old when this HBO documentary was filmed.



05-12-2009, 05:23 PM
Dr. Johnny Benjamin is MMAjunkie.com's medical columnist and consultant and a noted combat-sports specialist. He is also a member of the Association of Boxing Commissions' MMA Medical Subcommittee. Dr. Benjamin writes an "Ask the Doc" column every two weeks for MMAjunkie.com. To submit a question for a future column, email him at askthedoc [AT] mmajunkie.com, or share your questions and thoughts in the comments section below. You can find Dr. Benjamin online at www.drjohnnybenjamin.com, and you can read his other sports-related articles at blog.drjohnnybenjamin.com.