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MMA and boxing luminaries combine efforts to help Cleveland Clinic brain health study

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Michael Cohen

The biggest power players in mixed martial arts and boxing are putting aside their differences to announce "ongoing support" for the Cleveland Clinic Professional Fighters Brain Health Study in Washington, D.C. on February 4th at a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Top Rank Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions, the two most important and high-profile promoters in the sport of boxing, along with representatives from Viacom, representing Bellator MMA and GLORY kickboxing, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship plan to announce their joint support.

Todd duBoef, the President of Top Rank, Lorenzo Fertitta, Chairman and CEO of the Ultimate Fighting Championship; Kevin Kay, President of Spike TV (Bellator MMA, GLORY kickboxing) and Richard Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer for will be in attendance. Golden Boy Promotions. In attendance will also be UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, Michael Chandler and Bernard Hopkins.

In addition, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) are also expected to attend the press event. Representatives in charge of the study from the Cleveland Clinic will also be in attendance.

"In an unprecedented move, fierce competitors in the ring will put aside their long-standing rivalries to ensure research continues in a landmark study for professional fighters," said a press release issued Monday.

"Cleveland Clinic will announce it has received ongoing support to continue its Professional Fighters Brain Health Study from boxing entities Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank and mixed martial arts programs Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV's Bellator MMA and GLORY kickboxing. They will be joined by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ) who will show their support for the study by joining executives from Cleveland Clinic, the fighting organizations at the announcement and several champions and top contenders. Sen. Reid was an amateur boxer in his youth, and Sen. McCain boxed at the U.S. Naval Academy and has been involved in legislation related to boxing since the mid-1990s."

The Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, which began in 2011, examines the impacts of the rigors of boxing and MMA on its professional competitors specifically with respect to repeated head trauma. The study has used approximately 400 fighters combined from both sports to measure changes in speech, cognitive reasoning and other abilities related to brain activity.