The Contact Sports Foundation sponsors the statistical research and modeling that underpins the MMA Severity Index.
The Mixed Martial Arts Severity Index (MMASI) calculates a fighters’ risk of suffering acute or chronic brain injury based on certain metrics. The formula is designed as an objective tool to help state commissions and promoters determine whether matches are safe.
Like its predecessor, the Boxing Severity Index (BSI), developed by Dr Flip Homansky and Margaret Goodman, the MMASI is modeled after the Glasgow Coma Scale used internationally for scoring trauma patients.
In collaboration with the California State Athletic Commission, MMA TV, it is the goal of the Foundation to develop a simple mechanism modeled on the BSI, for mixed martial arts for regulatory bodies to use. Like the BSI, the intent is to catch and reject proposed fights where skilled athletes are mismatched against less skilled opponents. This could risk the health and safety of an athlete. The MMASI can objectively identify situations that might raise some concern to the commissions regarding further medical evaluation, and even possibly licensure.
Promoters are also given the MMA Severity Index in advance to help assess the likelihood that state commissions will accept the matches they submit for approval.
Ensuring that fighters are matched fairly promotes safe matches, protects the short and long term health of fighters, and builds the trust of the fight fans.