Spencer Fisher will never be the same following a 33-fight MMA career that included 17 bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a heart-wrenching feature on MMAFighting.com, Fisher revealed that he suffered severe brain trauma as a result of fighting and has been battling numerous symptoms that hinder him in daily activities. Fisher, who was forced to retire when diagnosed with brain lesions that signaled the onset of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), has dealt with issues such as memory loss, dizziness, vertigo and depression while struggling to hold a regular job since the conclusion of his UFC tenure.
UFC officials did not comment for the feature on Fisher, but Dana White did address the ex-fighter’s condition when speaking with MMAjunkie.com on Wednesday. White said that the promotion is working to study athlete brain health through its collaborative venture with the Cleveland Clinic, and the UFC also recently donated $1 million to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. However, White added that head trauma is unavoidable in a sport as violent as MMA.
“Listen, we’re all learning every day about the brain injury stuff,” White said. “We’ve been investing in this [Lou] Ruvo Center to try to figure out more. We’re now interested [about] this thing just came out on ‘Real Sports’ about psychedelics, and we’ve actually reached out to the Johns Hopkins guys, and we’re diving into that.
“But listen, [Fisher]’s not the first, and he’s definitely not going to be the last. This is a contact sport, and everybody who’s ever done this [while] younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s just part of the gig.”