by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Medical Suspensions Handed Down after UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night

by Ivan Trembow

Sixteen fighters competed at the UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night on Saturday, August 6th, and for various reasons the Nevada State Athletic Commission has now suspended six of those fighters. That’s a relatively low medical suspension rate for an MMA event, but don’t try telling that to any of the fighters who were suspended.

-Alex Karalexis is medically suspended for six months, or until X-rays are taken to show that his nose and right rib-cage are not broken

-If Alex Karalexis does not have a broken nose or broken ribs, he is still medically suspended for six weeks due to a massive cut on his nose

-Chris Leben is medically suspended for six months unless injuries to his left ear and left thumb are cleared by doctors

-Sam Hoger is medically suspended for four weeks due to a laceration beneath his left eye

-Pete Sell is medically suspended for four weeks due to punishment taken in his TKO loss

-Gideon Ray is medically suspended for four weeks due to punishment taken in his TKO loss

-Josh Neer is medically suspended for four weeks due to punishment taken in his submission loss

Notes & Analysis:
-As usual, the only fighters who were drug-tested were the ones who were in championship fights (none on this card) or in the main event (Nathan Marquardt and Ivan Salaverry). The toxicology results for Marquardt and Salaverry’s samples have not come back yet, which is still within the normal timeframe.

-Having followed the medical suspensions for several years, the most shocking thing to me about this event is not who was suspended, but who wasn’t suspended. The commission is normally very pro-active in suspending fighters who take a decent amount of clean punches to the head, but neither Patrick Cote nor Kenny Florian were suspended for even a short time period. The single most surprising non-suspension was Stephan Bonnar, who was not medically suspended at all despite the giant hematoma under his eye.

-The most serious injuries both appear to have been suffered by Alex Karalexis, as the athletic commission doctors put a six-month hammer down on his fighting career unless Karalexis gets X-rays done that prove he doesn’t have a broken nose or broken ribs. The cut to Karalexis’ nose was massive, to the point that even if the commission wasn’t concerned about his nose being broken or the fact that he might have broken ribs, he still would have gotten the second-biggest medical suspension on the entire event just for the cut alone. As for the injuries to Karalexis’ right rib-cage, those injuries were the result of Kenny Florian’s brutal body kicks, which caused Karalexis’ entire right side to become red and swollen during the fight. Karalexis valiantly fought through those injuries, but he will now have to wait for his ribs to heal before he can fight again.

-The athletic commission doctors generally don’t suspend someone for six months unless they feel that there is a potentially big medical issue that needs to be looked into, and in the case of Chris Leben there are two different issues that the commission wants to have clarified before Leben can fight again. First, Leben has to get his left thumb X-rayed to determine whether or not it’s broken. Then Leben needs to go to an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor to get his left ear checked out. Leben has pretty severe cauliflower ear from years of wrestling, and the commission chose to not let him fight again for six months unless he gets the proverbial green-light from an ENT doctor. In Leben’s case, even if his ear is fine he would still be medically suspended for six months if he does indeed have a broken thumb.

-The four-week suspensions for Pete Sell and Gideon Ray are not surprising, given that both fighters were TKO’ed. The commission could have suspended either of them for six or eight weeks if they had been motionless for any extended period of time after being knocked out, but they both recovered fairly quickly after they were knocked out. It is good that the athletic commission did not let the crowd influence its decision to medically suspend Pete Sell, who is clearly shown on the instant replay to have been rocked by Nate Quarry, whether Sell wants to admit it or not. A crowd that is booing loudly should not influence the commission doctors as they do their jobs.

-It’s fairly unusual to see a fighter get medically suspended who loses via quick submission, but that is exactly what happened to Josh Neer after his loss to Drew Fickett in the only non-televised bout of the evening. In this case, the medical suspension came because Neer also took a pretty heavy dose of punishment during the fight; it was not a case of a fighter simply being put in a submission hold right away and submitting.