Fight Doctor – Staph Infections

Fight Doctor – Staph Infections

Introduction by Ross Dale

Do you actually know what a staph infection is and what’s happening in it? On a regular basis, fighters run into obstacles that prevent them from getting the most from their training: injuries like a dislocated finger, or maybe even a personal event like a wedding or funeral. And no one likes to miss training. So when someone sees just a small skin rash, they think nothing of it, and keep on training. Days later, that person is in the hospital, FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE. A dislocated finger doesn’t do that to you. But somehow they get more immediate treatment than a life-threatening staph infection. If addressed early, it’s no big deal, and the infected person can continue with their schedule with very few adjustments. However, if the skin infection spreads to the muscle, bone, and other deeper tissue, it turns into a much more serious problem. Beyond that, the infection could enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Think it can’t get worse? MRSA, the type of strains of staph everyone fears most, is resistant to most antibiotics, meaning drastic measures need to be taken, just to save your life. These drastic measures go so far as the potential removal of a limb, sacrificing a part to save the whole. Feel like you should go wipe down some of that sweaty equipment with some Matguard now? But first, check out the article behind these staph statements below, coming fight doctor Dr. Michael Kelly.

Via Fightland (

Before the strange fight-night unraveling of UFC 159 last Saturday in Newark—before Gian Villante lost by eye poke and Yancy Medeiros lost by dislocated thumb and Alan Belcher lost by eye poke and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones won but at the rather gruesome cost of his left big toe—before all that, Erik “Goyito” Perez, the brilliant young bantamweight, had to drop out of his fight against Johnny Bedford when news broke that he was in the hospital with a staph infection. “Say a prayer for Goyito Perez,” the fighter’s gym, Jackson’s MMA, tweeted out last Monday. “Been in the hospital since Saturday night with a severe leg staph infection. [Hoping] he turns the corner today.”

We know that staph infections are common in MMA, particularly when fighters are spending a lot of time grappling, but when we read that tweet we realized we didn’t actually understand anything about them. “Say a prayer”? “Severe”? “Hoping he turns the corner”? Wait, how bad can these infections really get? What happens when they do? And what can be done to make sure a simple infection doesn’t become something awful?

As always when Fightland has a medical question, we turned to our doctor, Dr. Michael Kelly–a sports-medicine specialist, part-time ringside doctor, and the author of the book Fight Medicine–for the answer…