Mitch Clarke’s Acupuncture Injury Is Disgusting

Fightland Blog

By Jeff Harder

Image via Flicr user Megan Cole

The UFC makes its latest Canadian foray this weekend, hosting the Max Holloway and Charles Oliveira-headlined UFC Fight Night 74 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Sunday night. But UFC lightweight and native Saskatchewanian Mitch Clarke is going to sit out his employer’s first trip to his home city.

That’s because he's recovering from an injury that might make you want to barf when you read about it, or at least start reflexively scratching a forearm you didn't know was itchy. According to The StarPhoenix, Clarke was going through an acupuncture appointment in June, just before the UFC announced its pending arrival in Saskatoon. It was then that the idea of getting one's body all poked up with needles turned from a homeopath-approved, possibly pseudoscientific remedy, into a horror show.

Per The StarPhoenix: “While receiving an acupuncture treatment, the needle broke off from the handle while in [Clarke's] arm. Making things exponentially worse, the muscle in his forearm was contracting at that exact moment. With no handle to hold on to, the needle was sucked deep into his forearm muscle. Clarke had to undergo surgery to have the needle removed.”

So yeah, that's disgusting. I, like a lot of people with chronic injuries, have gone through acupuncture sessions on a limited basis and with mixed results. If you can bear the expense of treatment—and can keep a straight face while listening to someone talk about the human body in terms that sound absurd if you've read an anatomy and physiology textbook—it can be a useful starting point before you consider surgery or other more invasive medical interventions. I also think that, now that I know there's even a remote possibility the goddamn needle could get vacuumed into my body through my skin, I'll never do it again.

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Post-surgery, with the hand of the afflicted limb still partially numb, Clarke says he intends to compete in a grappling tournament next month and gauge how well the extremity holds up. Fortunately, Clarke, who’s only fought once every 11 months since 2012, is in good spirits despite the injury keeping him from competing in front of a hometown crowd—and despite the poor fortune of printing up a bunch of shirts that say Mitch-a-Mania in Hulk Hogan's signature font and color scheme right before we found out the Hulkster said, "I mean, I am racist, to a point…" (along with a bunch of other choice words that prove it). "These are racism-free shirts," Clarke said. "…I like Hulk Hogan from the 80s: Eat your vitamins, say your prayers. Not the other stuff."

We know that the fates could be cruel to prizefighters. Did we know that that cruelty could be so weirdly specific?


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