When in need of medical advice, most people turn to their family doctors, Internet medical sites, pharmacists and others with experience in medical problems. However, who does one turn to when the ailment is getting kicked in the head? Why, the experts at the Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC), of course! In fact, even if you haven’t been kicked in the head, you may at least slap yourself in the forehead when you hear their recommended treatment – magic mushrooms!
"We want to do it the right way. We want to get all the government approvals if we're going to do something."
In an interview with ESPN, UFC senior vice president of health and performance Jeff Novitzky explains how his interest in psychedelics as medicine for his fighters was piqued by a segment on HBO's "Real Sports" on the subject. Given the go-ahead by UFC president Dana White, he contacted Johns Hopkins about their research into the health benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and LSD in microdoses. While the UFC is obviously interested in the effects of psychedelics on brain trauma – common in a sport dependent on kicks and other blows to the head, Novitzky was also interested in the experiences of Ian McCall, a former UFC flyweight and now a psychedelic integration coach, on other benefits of magic mushrooms.
“When you look at microdosing with sports or with performance, you have the uptick in efficiency of everything you do, [which] is insane. You’re so much more efficient. It won’t make you physically stronger, mentally you’re more efficient and physically. So it won’t make you more strong like putting testosterone into your body more. Your body just moves with kinetic efficiency. Most people just think of it as flow state. You have the dropping of the fear response so you’re not afraid to go for certain techniques that you’ve never done before and you also have that kinetic efficiency so you pull them off, you’re in a flow state so you see things coming at you better, you have visual acuity, mental acuity, linguistic acuity.”
Pretty smart talk from an ex-UFC fighter in an interview with MyMMANews.com. He says his main focus is psilocybin and his medical advisor is his girlfriend, a professor at UCLA -- McCall doesn’t say what her specialty is. To get a more medical form of help, UFC is also a major contributor to a professional athlete brain study being conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Will magic mushrooms help UFC fighters with kick-induced brain trauma or PTSD? Probably. Will it help future UFC recruits become better fighters? Possibly. Will the chance to get free mushrooms from the trainer lure more people into the sport? Let’s hope not.
Kudos to the UFC for considering an alternative health treatment for its athletes. Now let’s see some work on kick prevention.