As combat sports fans we tend to live in a vacuum. Outside of the fights and the big-name personalities, we seem to forget what goes on outside the cage and the people who make the events possible. The fight doctor is one of the most unsung heroes of the sport, they make sure our fighters are safe and more often than not, allow for the fights to continue. However there is one UFC doctor that is an actual hero and this is the story of Dr. Alex Constantinides.
Throughout the Colarado fight scene, Dr Alex has been omnipresent since the early 2000s. Through his role as a ringside physician he has helped many athletes, but it is out of the ring where his selflessness become apparent. In the lower rungs of MMA and combat sports, many fighters cannot afford insurance and struggle on without seeking adequate medical assistance, but Dr. Alex has regularly helped out athletes free of charge. Dr. Alex is known for going out of his way to visit gyms and athletes to make sure they’re okay.
Dr. Alex’s love of the fight game eventually lead him to beginning his own fighting journey. While he was a physician by day and training for a fight by night, his wife Laurel looked after their 3 adopted daughters. Eventually Dr. Alex would serve as a physician for the UFC and would help out Colorado MMA stars like Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub.
In July, 2011, Dr Alex’s life would take a harrowing turn. On a family camping trip in Wyoming, Dr. Alex and his family were evacuated from their campsite due to heavy rain. As they left the area in their Volkswagen, the Constantinides’ car was caught in flash flooding and plummeted into a river before being swept 75 yards downstream. Dr. Alex’s wife Laurel, and their three daughters Hannah, Zooey and Lucia sadly passed away in the accident and Dr Alex miraculously managed to get out of the car and to safety.
While many would lament in the loss of their entire family, Dr. Alex fought on. A short time later, a Carbon County Emergency Management truck, driven by Mayor John Zeiger, crashed into the same ravine and tumbled about 45 yards downstream. Dr. Alex rescued Zeiger and pulled him to safety. In his darkest hour, Dr. Alex still found the strength to carry on and saved another man’s life.
The worst day of Dr. Alex Constantinides didn’t stop him from moving forward. Just one month after the accident, he returned to work and explained why to CBS:
“Giving care is a very different part of your brain than grieving and receiving care, and it’s a part of my brain that still works,” he said.
“Not everything in my brain is functioning right now. I did kiss my kids every day and I told them plenty of times every day how much I loved them and how important they were to me and I can live without guilt in that and I don’t ever have to second-guess that. I don’t ever have to second guess that my kids knew I loved them.”
Dr. Alex continues to work as a ringside physician to this day and remains an unsung member of the martial arts community. In the aftermath of this terrible accident, Dr. Alex and the Colorado MMA community raised a large amount of money for Chinese orphanages.
If you would like to donate to the charity that the Constantinides’ supported click here.