Punches, kicks, elbows, knees—mixed martial artists take more physical punishment in one 5-minute round than most athletes endure in a lifetime, and today's top cage fighters are helping popularize hyperbaric oxygen therapy for rapid rehabilitation and superfitness training.
In Saturday night's pay-per-view bout, HBOT maven Urijah "The California Kid" Faber (photo left) was gunning to reclaim his featherweight championship title from Brazilian phenom Jose Aldo. Faber lost by unanimous decision. But by 4 a.m. the next morning he was already telling his 40,000 Twitter followers he was in the hyperbaric chamber to reduce swelling in his badly bruised left thigh. In 2009 he had overcome a fractured hand and climbed back into contention with the help of hometown physicians at the Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic of Sacramento. Our hats off to the man.
Veteran cagefighter and broadcaster Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg (photo right) uses his personal chamber to enhance his training methods and is endorsed by OxyHealth Portable Hyperbarics. The leading manufacturer of mild hyperbaric (mHBOT) chambers has sold over 7,000 units in the last 10 years.
Accelerated healing. Superhealth and fitness. Elite athletics. Personal hyperbarics. Once more we find common clinical practice running at a breakneck pace ahead of the scientific evidence, and the mainstream HBOT market struggling to catch up with a whole new generation of healthcare consumers, inspired by celebrities and moving fast in social networks. It's not the blood sport for everybody. But we can't seem to look away.