'More deaths in cheerleading' claims doctor
An Irish specialist working as a ringside doctor in the US has claimed that more deaths occur in cheerleading.
Dr Darragh O'Carroll, who works as a fight doctor in Los Angeles, was speaking in the wake of a backlash against the sport following the tragic death of fighter Joao Carvalho (28) in Dublin.
"With regards to the safety of the sport, there are more deaths in cheerleading than with MMA. It's just that MMA, for obvious reasons, can be sensationalised.
"I do think it's unfair and I do think everything has to be taken case by case, when any sort of tragedy happens."
He added: "I didn't see the fight and I don't know the circumstances. I'm sure the fight doctor would have got him the treatment he needed as quickly as possible."
"Former Irish Olympian Mick Dowling said the size of gloves used in MMA needs to be addressed.
"I can understand them having to have a small one, because when they're grappling and so on they can't be using a big boxing glove, but certainly the hardness of it, that should be changed," he told RTE News.
"It should definitely be softer and I've always said that nobody's brain is designed to take punches as hard as you can get in MMA, or boxing for that matter," he added.
Meanwhile Acquired Brain Injury Ireland said that any sport in which deliberate injury to the head can be inflicted should be reviewed.
World champion UFC fighter Conor McGregor paid tribute to Carvalho in a heartfelt statement, saying his death was a bitter pill to swallow.