Conor McGregor Showed Signs Of ‘Traumatic Brain Injury’ During Mayweather Loss

Mark J. Rebilas for USA TODAY Sports

Many felt that referee Robert Byrd’s stoppage of Conor McGregor’s bout with all-time boxing legend Floyd Mayweather last Saturday night (August 26, 2017) from Las Vegas was a bit too early, but if one medical doctor is correct, that is far from the case.

True, McGregor was still standing after absorbing an unanswered assault from Mayweather in the tenth round, an onslaught he attributed to fatigue more than any damage “Money” was dealing.

However, based on former ringside physician Darragh O’ Carroll, MD’s stance on the situation, fatigue was far from the reason Byrd stopped the historic fight. O’ Carroll broke down the details of the bout’s conclusion to TONIC (via MMA Mania), believing it was stopped because McGregor began showing signs of a mild traumatic brain injury:

“Byrd’s calculation to call a stoppage was likely not based on signs of fatigue, but rather signs of traumatic brain injury. Ataxia, or dizziness and loss of balance, is one of the hallmarks of concussion, a type of mild traumatic brain injury. Fatigue may cause sluggish and slow movements, but does not cause the imbalance and poor coordination exhibited by McGregor in the 10th round. Being wobbly, in the setting of pugilistic trauma, will always be treated as the result of head trauma and not as fatigue. To let a fighter continue on would be grossly negligent.”

That’s obviously a serious concern for any athlete to hear, let alone a combat sports fighter who is constantly hit in the head. With chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) becoming a prevalent issue amongst fighters who are moving on from their notoriously short and brutal MMA careers, this instance may prove that brain damage avoids no fighter, not even the best and brightest like McGregor.

Mixed martial arts is young enough as a major sport to not have anything close to a full data set proving how impactful CTE is in former fighters, and few studies have been conducted on MMA fighters thus far. But it’s obviously caused a huge stir in the National Football League (NFL), and could become a point of emphasis when fighters finally decide they need a collective bargaining agreement with the UFC.

That’s been coming for what seems like years now, so perhaps hearing that even the biggest UFC star is subject to lasting effects of getting hit will motivate them to do just that even further. For their sakes, let’s hope so.

  • Sébastien Poitras

    Long time I’ve heard about that fighters union…

  • All_Seeing_Eye

    This is a drama queen article. Guess they needed more controversy.

    • Murderous1

      I predicted that and you hate it just like I predict that your eyebrows are touching while reading this

      • HeteroFriendly

        I predict that you stole the computer your abusing from somebody who works for a living just like everything else you or your family has ever owned.

  • Ray Stantz

    Meh i doubt it, unless he hat a CAT scan this is simply guess work.

    • Clarence Worley

      Guess work from a guy specifically trained to notice it.

      • Ray Stantz

        For the 1 symptom of concussion Conor supposedly had there are 5 more that he didnt. This guy “trained to notice” is going off of 1 symptom…poor balance. Conor went and partied all night after this fight as well. In the post fight he seemed fine…no amnesia, disorientation, or mental confusion, no vomiting, no slurred speech or stutter…Thats like twisting your ankle and then saying its broken just because it hurts and gets swollen. You need a scan to determine if it is…even doctors trained to notice will order a scan.

        Im not saying he didnt have a concussion, all that i am saying is this guy is guessing based off of 1 symptom. So i look at facts not assumptions…fact is this guy doesnt know if Conor got a concussion…he is guessing. Brain scanning machines are used in the NFL for a reason now…they dont just have a guy doing guesswork on the sidelines…because guys were geting put back in with concussions and others were getting pulled that didnt have them but had symptoms.

        • kthomp1123

          So you’d rather he not guess, let Conor get hit 30 times more in the head?
          You sound like boxing fans from years ago.
          You know why we have a Mayweather, Canelo, GGG, and guys like Lomanchenko will be around for a long time…because we take care of our fighters. You guys have a burn out rate that is almost hilarious for your champs.
          You should take a note – most fights have loses, Mayweather is an anonmaly, when a fighter is exhibiting the signs of concussion and can’t defend themselves, the fight is stopped.

          • Ray Stantz

            Firstly i have 0 opinion on the stoppage. I only said that this former physicians opinion about Conor being concussed is just that… opinion. He was not ringside nor did he have any say in the stoppage. He said Conor was displaying signs of a concussion….from the several symptoms…only 1 did Conor display and that could have easily been fatigue. Unless he gets a brain scan its just educated guesswork. The stoppage itself seemed fine by me …as i said i have no opinion on that. You dont need to get a concussion for the fight to be stopped…at least id hope not. But just saying someones concussed based on 1 symptom…after the fight isnt reliable information.

          • kthomp1123

            gotcha, understood.

      • HeteroFriendly

        Except after looking at all the liberal “scientists” and “experts” on any subject around here who are allegedly voices of authority on a subject but obviously talking out of their axxes agenda first, that doesn’t mean this guy isn’t abusing his title for attention and his own ego.

        Do we know that he’s good at his job just becasue he’s got that job?
        Thats not always necessarily true.

  • leonaidis

    Conor is far from the best strikers in the ufc if you check his stats om figthmetric. He’s not even in the top 10. And he should really think about changing his style, now he blocks more with his head than he slips, ducks or blocks with his hands.

  • Dan Stevens

    This is a little over the top. Conor should have a long career as a lot of his fights have finished early. He has’nt taken too much head trauma. I would lean towards fatigue over any realtime brain injury.

    • HeteroFriendly

      “This is a little over the top.”

      A little bit?
      Like somebody needed some attention?

    • kthomp1123

      ‘Finished early’ – as in less than 5 UFC rounds, versus 10 boxing rounds.
      The sheer quantity of shots is highly different.
      Have you ever been hit with boxing gloves?
      How about 170 times, and 152 of those being power shots, by a boxing legend?
      Conor’s fights have all been with light weight gloves, low round counts, and low head hit numbers. The sheet volume of head shots in this bout was something he’s never seen before and his entire camp he wore head protection.
      A slight concussion is very likely, it’s not over the top.

      • Dan Stevens

        Go back and watch the fight. Conor sees almost every single shot throughout the whole fight coming at him. Every shot he sees he anticipates and flinches/slights to lessen the impact to his head. Lots of the shots were deflected with no real stand out, full power shots that were not seen before impact. This is his first boxing match. He has’nt taken too much damage throughout his career so far. Both the Nate fights were the exception really. You see Conor do it a lot, slight movements at the moment of impact to lessen the blow. The one time you saw what this doctor is claiming is the fight were the black lad died in an mma fight at Roufus sport. He was showing signs of being tired very early on. The corner men and ref did’nt pick up on the symptoms and it turns out the guy died as he was fatally hurt I think by bleeding to the brain from a headshot. Real tiredness and the symptoms of this type of brain injury are difficult to pick out from one another.

        • kthomp1123

          I’d rather be on the side of caution between tiredness and symptoms of brain injury – when a guy is stumbling around the ring, hasn’t thrown a defensive punch in almost a minute, and is being clobbered and still has a minute to go – stop the fight. The ref did the right thing.
          You only need one time to get hit just right to have brain damage, and when you aren’t defending yourself, gloves down, winded, barely standing, your chances of that one time go up exponentially.
          Conor didn’t see every single shot, or he would have won. Don’t know why you guys keep trying to make a boxing expert out of Conor. He got schooled for 6 rounds straight and then stopped – 30 second flurrishes at the start and hitting someone on the back of the head for 6 rounds doesn’t make you a good boxer. Active isn’t productive. 111 compubox punches with 40 being taps on the back of the head isn’t something to be proud of.

      • Dan Stevens

        In all fairness the referee probably does’nt see many fighters in twelve round fights getting tired like that so it probably could of factored in to his decision making. If Conor gasses in five round UFC fights then he was always going to gas out in a twelve round boxing match, it was just a matter of when.
        The main difference in the two fighters on the night was Conor looked apprehensive and a little tense and started to breath a little laboured after the third round actually and Floyd looked chilled and relaxed. Both of their performances cardio wise mirrored how both looked phsychologically up to and after the first round.
        Conor was mechanical and was pushing his punches over just letting them flow and Floyd was playing possum and relaxing while winking to commentators and fans. Lol.

        • kthomp1123

          When Floyd winks and smiles, you know it’s gonna be a long night for someone.

  • kthomp1123

    Whole lot of MMA folks should be looking at old boxers and asking yourself if you really want your older fight generation, which most haven’t broken mid-50’s yet, to be slurring their speech and barely able to color their money, muchless count it, due to consistent head trauma….just so you all can cheer.
    Boxing used to let fights keep going, but it’s better to be safe than sorry for the boxer’s health. Our sport has a lot more experience than yours, our ref’s have a lot more experience than yours, in terms of what concussion looks like in the ring.

  • Wabbit

    When the expected beating Rousey took place from Nunes, the referee was immediately in there to stop serious injury…no accident.
    The same was probably agreed, with Dana White, when his meal ticket McGregor was unable to defend against receiving hard blows from Mayweather.