One of the biggest issues in MMA is the safety of repeated head trauma. While to a certain extent, head injuries are unavoidable in combat sports, one has to wonder if more precaution could be taken.

Tim Hague’s recent death after being knocked out twice within the span of 2 months, has renewed this debate. Should fighters who have been knocked out recently be required to take a longer time away from the sport? Is there a way to reduce traumatic brain injuries without changing the nature of the sport?

Anyone who says we are just now learning about the impacts of head trauma is either lying or misinformed. We’ve known about the impacts of head trauma for over a century. The first recognized heavyweight boxing champion, John L. Sullivan, spoke of his declining mental acuity often in his later life. The term “punch drunk” has been used for generations to describe the cognitive problems fighters often face in later life.

Every fighter mentioned in this article is currently active (one is suspended at the moment). You have to wonder if any of the following 5 fighters should still be cleared to compete:

5. Wanderlei Silva – KO’d 5x

What is worrying about Silva, is that he has become far easier to KO in recent years. This is a red flag someone has been concussed too many times. It is also what led to Dana White insisting Chuck Liddell retire.

His most telling knockout loss was to Chris Leben at UFC 132. Leben KO’d him in 27 seconds. While Leben has knockout power, Silva’s chin had clearly been worn down by years of abuse to go out that easy.

Wanderlei Silva has only been KO’d 5x in professional MMA bouts. What is more concerning however, is the amount of KOs he has most likely suffered while training with the Chute Box team.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen will headline Bellator’s NYC debut inside Madison Square Garden this weekend.

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.