I said I wanted to start the night off with a bang at UFC 113. I said a bang, not a break!
Things obviously didn't go my way Saturday. I pictured myself leaving Montreal a winner, or a remote possibility a loser, but I never pictured myself leaving Montreal on crutches.
Coming into the fight and early on I felt like a million bucks. I honestly feel I would have walked away with a pretty definitive knockout or finish if not for the freak injury. As I kicked him in the head, we both came crashing down on my ankle. My leg was stuck under both of us and as we came down on the mat, I felt something snap. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't tell exactly what. I pulled my leg out from under me and looked, and my foot was going the wrong way.
I yelled to referee Dan Miragliotta that my ankle was broken and pointed at it, and shortly thereafter the fight was stopped. Thinking back, it was pretty distasteful for John Salter to get up and celebrate like he had just beaten me convincingly, especially considering I had just kicked him in the face and he only won because we came down awkwardly.
But I wasn't thinking about that at all at the time. I was pretty scared to be honest. There was a lot of confusion, the doctors came in to tend to me. Then Dan called my corner to come in to calm me down, but the commission wouldn't let them come into the cage.
The medics tried to put a splint on, but it was taking some time and finally I said just get me out of here. My corner came and got me and Josh and Brad helped me out of there. They wanted to put me on a stretcher but I said I'm not going on the stretcher. Not until I was out of the crowd. Once I was in the back, they put me on the stretcher and drove me right out of there.
I was taken to Montreal General Hospital. They took a quick X-ray and then put me under to reset the ankle and put a cast on it. They told me I would need surgery, but there was no availability until Tuesday. So I asked them if I could just fly home and do the surgery back in Red Deer.
I want to say a big thank you to the UFC, who immediately switched my flight to first class so I could stretch my leg out for the flight. I pretty much kept it up on Josh's lap my whole way home.
I got home early Sunday, spent the day in the hospital on the wait list, and finally had surgery Monday night. I went in at 8:30 p.m. and it was supposed to be a one-hour procedure, but it became three hours, because things were actually worse than initially anticipated.
I had three bad breaks -- two on the joint of the fibula, the other was the tibia which was snapped clean off. The doctor explained to me the surgery took much longer than anticipated because he was having trouble keeping the ankle in the proper position because everything was so damaged. I ended up with 12 screws, four steel plates, which are permanent, and two bigger screws that are holding the ligament in place, which will hopefully be removed in three months.
Needless to say, I've been in the worst pain I've ever been in my entire life the past couple days. I'm trying as hard as I can to stay positive, let the healing process start and see where it goes from there. I'm pretty disappointed, but I know myself and I know I can recover from this and be back fighting, possibly even before the end of the summer, but more likely September-ish.
I spoke with Joe Silva that night and he relayed to me it was a freak accident and when it heals I would be given the opportunity to do it again. That makes me feel good. Now I just have to recover. The UFC has called me everyday since to touch base and see how I'm doing. It just goes to show they really do care about the fighters.
I've been in so many fights and never got hurt that I suppose it was bound to happen. You play with fire, you're bound to get burned. But I don't regret taking the fight. It could have happened any time. It could have happened in my next fight. It could have happened in my previous fight. And if I end up having to retire because of this, at least it's where I would have wanted it to be. Going out while with the UFC.
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