CTE identified for first time in MMA fighter

     

An MMA fighter has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the first time, The Boston Globe reported.

Jim Parsons, 25, was diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease six months after his death, Dr. Bennet Omalu told The Globe. Omalu is the forensic pathologist who discovered CTE and who the Will Smith movie "Concussion" is about.

Parsons, who was killed by a drunken driver while crossing a street six months ago, was routinely beat in the head while in the Octagon, which likely led to his diagnosis.

"These findings confirm that the danger of exposure to CTE is not limited to just football, hockey and wrestling," Omalu said. "Mixed martial arts is also a dangerous sport, and it's time for everyone to embrace the truth."

According to Omalu, Parsons' brain injury could not have been caused when he was hit by the car because the disease develops over time.

Omalu's CTE diagnosis of Parsons comes on the heels of WWE stars Jon Rechner, who went by Balls Mahoney, and Brian Knighton, who went by Axl Rotten, being diagnosed with some form of CTE. Both men died last year at 44.

The WWE, NFL and NHL are all facing various legal ramifications for not protecting their players who had concussions, which could lead to CTE.

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