UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor hasn’t competed since UFC 205, where he defeated Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight championship. While he’s not expected to return until at least May due to the impending birth of his first child, McGregor has been studying about potential brain injuries that MMA fighters can suffer, which has been a concern of his since at least 2015.
“I know that in the fighting game, you get people who get brain damage and do themselves long-term harm,” McGregor said to GQ Magazine.
The worries heated up big time for the then UFC Featherweight Champion in April of 2016, when he witnessed a fighter by the name of Joao Carvalho suffer what would turn out to be a fatal brain hemorrhage while fighting McGregor’s teammate Charlie Ward. McGregor sat cageside as everything was going down.
“It's f—ked up. I wasn't just watching that fight. I helped train a guy to kill someone, and then someone wound up dying,” McGregor said to Men’s Health.
Dan Healy, who is a neurologist based out of Ireland and has held conferences with MMA fighter about the dangers of brain injuries. He has high hopes for the future.
"I'd like to see every young man and woman who decides to fight to do so knowing that every possible avoidable risk has been minimized," said Healy to the Independent.
Elevation Fight Team out of Colorado recently announced a change to their training routines to avoid these kinds of injuries while training. McGregor currently trains with SBG Ireland.