(I created this feature for Kleiman | Evangelista Eye Center in Arlington via Miller Public Relations. March 25, 2015)
Did you see Dr. Kelly Frasier of Kleiman | Evangelista Eye Center at the American Airlines Center in Dallas when he was inside The Octagon for UFC 185? Fear not those who rely on his steady surgical hands, Dr. Frasier does not moonlight as a fighter. The ophthalmologist keeps a watchful eye on the fighters as one of the on-site doctors.
“It’s interesting because you get to see all the big names in sports. [Dallas Cowboys great] Michael Irvin and [former Cowboy] DeMarco Murray were at this event. It’s neat because you can interact and mingle with them, and you also get to know the fighters and even the refs that are so popular such as Herb Dean and Dan Mirgliotta,” Dr. Frasier said. “It’s neat to see people you’ve been watching for years, and you’re rubbing elbows with them a little bit. It’s a fun experience.”
Dr. Frasier has been a fight doctor for seven years dating back to when he lived in West Texas (Lubbock). His career fight scorecard totals approximately 40 events including some major bouts. Dr. Frasier has been on-call ringside for three HBO boxing events, including two that featured Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. There have been two UFC events as well as lesser-known mixed-martial arts organizations such as Shark Fights, King of the Cage, Xtreme Knockout, and the Legacy Fighting Championship.
Whether it’s mixed-martial arts or boxing, Dr. Frasier had these opportunities as a board member of the Texas Boxing Commission, a subsidiary of Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations. He has worked his way up to this prestigious status, but it was quite random how he became a fight doctor.
“Back in West Texas, there were a couple schools where MMA was really taking off and everyone was trying to do it. Every promoter was trying to put on a show. I was actually working out with a lot of fighters in their cardio classes such as P90x and Insanity. The coach there one day approached me and said they had an amateur show coming and they needed a doctor to work the event. Well, this was back before the state sanctioned and commissioned them,” Dr. Frasier recalled. “After working events all over West Texas since that first opportunity, then we moved to the Dallas / Fort Worth area. There are a lot more events here and bigger events that come here. So it was really just by chance I was able to get in with them and start working them.”
Dr. Frasier never wanted to be a fighter, but he has been a UFC fan dating back to its early days of Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn. Now, he gets the best seat in the house and interacts with the fighters in The Octagon and backstage.
While “eye gouging of any kind” is a foul, Dr. Frasier has seen his fair share of eye injuries as a fight doctor including detachments, abrasions, blowout fractures, and zygomatic arch fractures. Behind the scenes at a recent fight, Dr. Frasier had an interesting exchange with a heavyweight fighter about a hematoma, a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel.
“He had a little hematoma on the inside part of the right eye, near the tear duct. I said, ‘Well, you just need to make sure that tear duct is okay, it’s damaged.’ And he looked at me scared and said, ‘Does that mean cutting?’ I said, ‘No, no, it’s not cutting, it’s just a procedure.’ We were laughing about it. Here’s this big, 250-pound guy and you mention needles or cutting and he’s heading the other way after he just fought!”
The next time there’s an event, Dr. Frasier hopes you never see him. Why?
“Typically, you really don’t want the doctors on TV because that means the fight will stop or someone was hurt. You definitely don’t want to be the one that has to call the fight because you’re going to be on the blogs the next day if people disagree with it.”
He made this blog because we think it’s cool that he was a fight doctor at a UFC event! This goes into our “Who Knew” file about one of the great Kleiman | Evangelista Eye Center Doctors.