Mckenzie Damm is a Hemophiliac MMA fighter, or in other words, a walking contradiction. Not only did she grow up poor in the streets of Brazil, she has a disease that could be defined in the dictionary as ‘Do not fight’. Hemophiliacs have a severely reduced ability for blood clotting. That means her life is on the line every time she fights.
Mixed martial arts, football, boxing, any contact sport really. They’re all really bad for your head. Why? Because unlike what we used to think, it isn’t about concussions. Damage occurs from sub concussive blows, meaning every time you get hit, your brain reacts the same way. This is trauma, please help me this isn’t good. I need to swell and try to heal right now. When it comes to blunt force, it’s a lot about mileage. Years of commitment to any sport that requires you to step into the fire in a way that could affect the cosmic order of you, is in my opinion, ultimately dumb. This is coming from a former professional fighter.
What does this mean for someone with Hemophilia? It means head contact can result in hemorrhaging of the brain, likely resulting in death or coma. Damm comes prepared for a transfusion following every practice and fight, and uses her black belt skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to avoid being hit. Her favorite fighter and inspiration for combat is Demian Maia.
“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is like, you know, very gentle art. How you say, gentle like anaconda?” she laughs, and explains that she likes to win without hurting.
Damm is 15-1, with all wins coming by way of submission. Still, she is not allowed to fight in the United States because she is a Hemophiliac MMA fighter. With her superior submission skills and track record in the cage, people are beginning to wonder if she is one of the top 125 pounders in the world. Only time will tell if she will get her chance to prove it on the big stage.