On the 24th January, as the UFC hits Stockholm for “UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Johnson”, the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin will play host to a free “Injury Prevention in MMA” seminar day for fighters and coaches. The event features expert speakers flown in from across the world to talk informatively about issues such as safe weight-cutting, PEDs, concussion and cauliflower ears. Read more here.
The organiser and promoter of “Injury Prevention in MMA” are Consultant Neurologist, Professor Dan Healy and renowned coach John Kavanagh:
Alongside Aisling Daly, Professor Dan Healy has been instrumental in Irish MMA as the driving force behind Safe MMA Ireland – a regional arm of the independent British medical advisory that informs the United Kingdom MMA Federation.
John Kavanagh stands among the pioneers of MMA in the Republic of Ireland and is the renowned coach behind one of the top gyms in Europe, Straight Blast Gym Ireland. Kavanagh was the first Irish person to attain a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. He competed in MMA between 2000 and 2003 before moving into coaching, where he has made his name. His fight team has earned titles both across domestic promotions and at world level, with notable students including Gunnar Nelson, Cathal Pendred, Aisling Daly and Conor McGregor.
Ahead of next week’s event, we caught up with John Kavanagh about the development of MMA in the Republic of Ireland:
What is the MMA scene like in the Republic of Ireland? How much has it changed in recent years? It’s gone from less than 10 clubs to now more than 80, so it’s a lot busier!
What for you have been the key events in the history of Irish MMA and why? I guess UFC Dublin was a very special night, showing just how far we’ve come.
How have you been involved with Safe MMA Ireland? I support what they’re doing. Aisling Daly plays a role and has been doing a great job educating people on what it’s about.
How well has Safe MMA been accepted? It’s been mixed. Some coaches and promoters are suspicious of it. We’ve done a good job self-regulating until now but it is time for this to be taken over by an independent body. At the end of the day promoters are trying to make money from fights. Economic theory would suggest they will try and cut corners where they can. Having Safe MMA in charge ensures this doesn’t happen, ensures qualified medical staff plus that correct procedures are followed.
You are working with Professor Dan Healy to host the “Injury Prevention in MMA” event on 24th January in Dublin. How did the event come about? It’s really all been down to Healy. I’m very happy to have him as part of the Irish MMA scene.
What for you are looking to be the highlights of the event? Knowledge and giving all the clubs in Ireland access to the most up to date information, so that they can run their clubs and mind their fighters as best as possible.
How would you like to see Safe MMA-Ireland develop over the next year? There are very few coaches who actually have professional MMA fighters in Ireland. Most clubs are amateur only. It would be great to get some solidarity so that coaches will only allow their Pro fighters on shows that are Safe MMA approved. I’m not sure about Amateur only shows. Maybe in time Safe MMA will also look after them. We’ll see how it goes.
Read more about SBG Ireland here: http://www.sbgireland.com/
Read more about the “Injury Prevention in MMA” event here: https://www.immaf.org/event/safe-mma-ireland-injury-prevention-mma/Pictured: John Kavanagh with Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson]]>