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Dr. Michael Kelly

Dr. Michael Kelly is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. Kelly has been a ringside physician with the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board since 2004. Dr. Kelly has covered numerous championship professional mixed martial arts and boxing events on HBO, Showtime, ESPN, ESPN2, Spike, CBS and PPV. He has covered events promoted by the UFC, IFL, ProElite, Bodog, M-1, Top Rank, Main Events, Don King and many other promotions.


Dr. Kelly has been featured on both The History Channel and Spike TV. The history channel program focused on the science of choke holds. He has authored numerous articles in medical journals and magazines, as well as chapters in two medical textbooks. Dr. Kelly has published three books: “Death Touch: The Science Behind the Legend of Dim Mak”, “The Dim Mak Medical Guide” and “Fight Medicine,” and is one of the first physicians in the northeast to perform percutaneous ultrasound guided tenotomy and fasciotomy for common sports injuries. In addition to his private practice and work with the NJSACB, Dr. Kelly travels nationally to lecture and teach other physicians. Dr. Kelly is also involved with the Association of Boxing Commissions Medical Committee and Morristown Hospital’s ringside physician training program.  Dr. Kelly served as the chief physician for the United States Kickboxing Association and has held medical training seminars for NJSACB referees.


Dr. Kelly has been involved with the martial arts since childhood. He began his martial arts training at the age of six when he first attended karate classes. During high school, he was involved in competitive wrestling and achieved over 100 career victories. After high school, Dr. Kelly continued his martial arts training and earned a black belt in Okinawin shorin ryu and a black belt in combat jujitsu. In 2003, Dr. Kelly was inducted into the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame as the Outstanding Man of The Year.


While attending Rutgers University, Dr. Kelly worked full time as a police officer with the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police department where he earned a commendation for arresting an armed suspect. During college, Dr. Kelly was honored for his academic achievements in chemistry, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in biology from the college honors program, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.


Dr. Kelly resigned from the police department when he was accepted into the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Kelly authored his first book titled, “Death Touch, The Science Behind the Legend” and his first two medical articles.

After medical school, Dr. Kelly completed an internal medicine residency program at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. During residency, Dr. Kelly published a number of articles on sports medicine and his second book.


After Residency, Dr. Kelly was awarded a highly selective internal medicine sports medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania/Pennsylvania hospital in Philadelphia, PA. During this fellowship, Dr. Kelly published a chapter on neck injuries in a medical textbook and worked with the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phantoms, and Philadelphia Kixx.


After fellowship, Dr. Kelly published his third book, titled, “Fight Medicine” and opened a private practice in New Jersey.  Dr. Kelly continues to work as a ringside physician with the NJSACB, and as a school doctor for a number of universities, high schools and school districts, and sees professional and amateur athletes in his private practice.


He has been honored as a top orthopaedic physician by New Jersey Monthly magazine and has been a frequent medical contributor to MMA sites like Fightland and Full Contact Fighter.


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