In episode 18 I speak to Dr Heather Linden the Director of Physical Therapy for the UFC. Heather is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a background working for the USA Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs before heading up PT for the UFC at the Las Vegas Performance Institute. In this episode we’ll discuss her professional role and approach to athlete care, rehab / return-to-fighting and the value of effective multi-disciplinary-team working.

In this episode with Heather we discuss: 

  • Her background at the UFC
  • Working at The USA Olympic Team at Colorado Springs as Physical Therapist
  • The skills and professional qualities she carried forward from working in an Olympic environment.
  • Her role as Director of Performance at the UFC
  • Injury triage post-fight
  • Types of Injuries both training and traumatic
  • How do you educate fighters on injuries and rehab
  • Fighter as independent contractors and medical autonomy
  • How does the UFC setting differ from other sports for managing athletes Injuries
  • Late stage rehab and identifying KPI’s for return to performance
  • The UFC process and approach to functioning as an MDT
  • Co-assessing and Co-planning athlete care
  • Managing a global network of coaches, clinicians and athletes
  • Sourcing information and piecing together research for the UFC

Where you can find Heather:


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Andy McDonald (Host)




About the Author
Andy is the Host / Co-Founder of Inform Performance and a dual qualified Physiotherapist / Strength & Conditioning Coach. Andy is based in Philadelphia & works for Total Performance who provide a multi-faceted, elite level diagnostic, rehabilitation and performance service. Delivered by a team of world leading specialists to organisations in the NBA, NFL, English Premier League, the LTA and England Rugby.