Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Matt Hamill's staph infection raises medical concern, awareness

PHOTO Props: mmajunkie.com

Five days off of the TUF 11 Finale and folks are still discussing Matt Hamill's latest body art -- a bright red, raised, pimple-like bump on the center of his lower back. The bump didn't go unnoticed, as speculation of staph infection ranked among post TUF 11 topics.

Hamill has since admitted that the bump was in fact a staph infection, but his admission doesn't change the call for concern over ring/cage safety. Staph, ringworm, herpes, hepatitis, and impetigo are some of the common diseases associated with high skin-to-skin contact sports like MMA.

In Mat Hamill's case, the presence of staph infection in a nationally televised mixed martial arts match lead the public to question the medical authorities that govern MMA: "How was this guy medically cleared to fight with a blatant case of staph infection?"

The public's concerns are justified in an era that has experienced a rapid increase of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) cases, a a highly resistant form of staph that can lead to the the amputation of limbs, or even worse -- death.

So, what have we learned from this?

Well, Matt Hamill shouldn't have fought at the TUF 11 Finale but fight contracts, sponsorships, and viewer numbers won the battle over safety.

But, this can change. If fans and fighters would act more often on situations such as this (instead of entertaining the usual Dana White drama) then maybe the legislative process for MMA in New York would be much quicker, and we might even save a life in the process.

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