When featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Kyle Kingsbury were both injured riding motorcycles last month, the UFC found itself with yet another type of injury problem.
Injuries in training - a necessary and to an extent, unavoidable evil - have plagued the company the past two years in particular. But injuries from activities not even related to the competing and training in UFC just compounds that problem. While Kingsbury was scraped up, he didn't pull out of the Sept. 29 UFC on Fuel show, where he lost to Jimi Manuwa.
Aldo also didn't pull out at first, but after an infection in his leg stemming from the accident made it impossible to train, he pulled out of UFC 153, the show scheduled for this coming Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Aldo's fight with Frankie Edgar was scheduled to headline and would have been the division's biggest fight in more than two years.
This past week, word got out that UFC is at least trying to rid itself as much as possible of non-sport related injuries. Like the NFL and a lot of other professional sports, new contracts are going to contain clauses that restrict fighters from participating in what is deemed dangerous activities.
The existence of the clause first came out from a video interview that Donald Cerrone did with Tracy Lee. Dana White has since confirmed the story as accurate to MMAfighting.com via text message.
The exact contract wording and full restrictions are unknown. These would be in all new contracts. Fighters with existing contracts would not have the clause put in place until it's time to negotiate a new deal.
All fighters, however, are going to be soon aware the company is frowning on activities such as motorcycle riding, which is also banned in standard NFL and NBA contracts.
"They say you can't snowboard, wakeboard, bungee jump, all kinds of ridiculous things," said Cerrone in the interview, where he talked about a new goal of becoming a professional wakeboarder. "Horseback riding, yeah, which, I own horses and I will not not ride them. So I guess I just have to sit down with Dana and figure this out. But that's who I am, you know. I'm just wild and crazy and I need these things. I can't get painted into a corner is what I'm saying. So I gotta figure it out."