Fighting is dangerous.
Former UFC heavyweight heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos was asked if he would do anything different if he knew there would be permanent, lifelong con health consequences.
"That's a good question," said JDS. "That's a really good question."
"You know, I think it's worth it. This is my life. This is everything I have. People don't know how hard we [work] and what we sacrifice to [be successful]. MMA athletes train so much, you know. I would continue to [do what I'm doing]. I want it so badly. I want to give everything I have to this. This is everything to me."
JDS believes that fighting Cain Velasquez is his defining destiny, and that they will fight five times, or more, that they will be Ali - Frazier, or Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta. The route to a rubber match with Velasquez goes through Mark Hunt Saturday night. But in the long run, there has to be a long run.
In preparation for his losing rematch with Cain Velasquez at UFC 155, JDS trained twice a day, for up to three hours each session, for over three months. As a consequence, his body developed a potentially fatal medical condition.
Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sports has the story.
The morning after the bout, his urine was a very dark brown, the color of Guinness Stout beer.
He wasn't urinating blood, as some fighters do after a grueling match. Rather, the brown coloration of his urine was due to rhabdomyolysis. His muscle fiber was breaking down and getting into the blood steam.
It is a treatable condition, but it can be fatal under certain circumstances. There are numerous causes, but one is extreme physical exercise.
He's consulted with experts at Nike, and brought in Alexandre Dortas, a Brazilian physiologist, to monitor various levels in his blood.
Creatine kinase is an enzyme in the blood that can be used to diagnose rhabdomyolysis. The average adult male has a CK level under 300, Dortas said. He said an elite athlete can get that level as high as 350. But after the Velasquez fight, dos Santos said his CK level was over 1,400.
"He just wasn't getting enough rest," said Dortas.
During the training camp for the Hunt fight, Dortas has been a familiar presence. He approaches dos Santos several times during a workout and pricks a finger to draw blood, which he test to make sure that JDS doesn't overexert himself.
Dortas has recommended two, 75-minute practices a day and only a two-month training camp. That, he said, would be sufficient for dos Santos to get into elite condition, but it would provide his body with enough recovery time to avoid negative complications.
Dos Santos, 29, said he hopes "to be a Randy Couture guy," and fight until he's in his mid-to-late 40s.
"I just love this," he said, smiling broadly.
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