Spencer Fisher recently made MMA headlines by revealing the impact a lifetime of fighting was having on him, now his career as a UFC athlete was over. The ‘King’ revealed that he had been diagnosed with early symptoms of CTE, at the same time as when the UFC had cut him from their roster of retired fighters.
Now Sam Stout, a former opponent of Fishers, is making moves to assist him through these hard times. Stout recently started a GoFundMe page for Fisher, with the initial goal of reaching $2000. However, the fundraiser has been met with a great response, currently having made over double the original goal.
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Stout had the following to say:
“It’s great to get him a couple thousand bucks, but it’s a short-term solution, it’s pretty sad to see.”
“It’s always a risky thing to say anything about the UFC’s practices, but we’re talking about a guy that I’ve got a bond with that’s going to last the rest of our lives,” he said. “Spencer’s earned my respect almost more than any other man walking this planet. Just to see him twisting in the wind with no help, it’s really hard for me to watch, because it could have been me.“
Stout also went on to discuss what steps need to be taken in order to ensure that more fighters in the future do not end up following Fisher’s tragic path.
“I think some things need to change. There’s more information coming to light about CTE and the lasting effects of head injuries. I think ongoing medical coverage for the fighters should be part of their expenses that they need to factor into their business. Sometimes I think they worry about the bottom line more than the people that are making their company the great powerhouse that it is. I think it’s not right and something needs to change.”
Gray Maynard Gives Further Insight
Former UFC lightweight title contender, Gray Maynard, has also weighed into the situation surrounding Fisher. ‘The Bully noted that it is essential that the impacts of a career in MMA become commonly known.
“(Fisher said) like, ‘Dude, I don’t care not being known and I don’t want to be in the spotlight. And I could relate to him,” Maynard said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, I hear ya. I’m with ya. But it’s not about us, it’s about all these other guys and girls. You have to get this story out and you have to tell them what’s going on in this sport and what’s going on in this world.’ It definitely was hard on him. We’ve talked a couple of times, but I really feel like he went through with it because of that. Because he definitely didn’t want to get his story out. That’s not the point of why he did it. ‘Oh, I want people to know what I’m going through.’ No. I want people to know what I’m going through because other people are going to go through this. And it’s going to happen a lot. It’s already happened’ He’s just the person that got the story out. There’s a lot of scared people out there, man.” (BJPENN.com).
Fighters like Max Holloway have already taken steps to avoid such future ramifications, by no longer having heavy sparring as an integral aspect of their training camps.