After a 14-month layoff, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace and once-fast-rising middleweight David terrell again suffered an injury and was forced out of a November 2007 UFC 78 bout with Ed Herman. Now, it's been nearly four years since the 32-year-old "Soul Assassin" has stepped foot inside a cage.
But on today's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio, Terrell said he's considering a comeback. He also detailed the gruesome (yet little-known) ailment that led to the quick descent of one of the sport's most promising careers.
"I trained really hard for my fights, but I was getting these sinus infections and a lot of ear problems," said Terrell, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cesar Gracie who's now the NorCal Fighting Alliance head trainer. "It finally got to the point that these infections weren't going away, so I had to get a surgery on my ear where they kind of carved out the infection. It was just a pain in the butt. They stapled the ear back on after they pealed it off. They like filleted the back of the ear.
"I thought then I was good, but I kept having to drain puss and nasty stuff (from the ear), so [the doctor] put me on every antibiotic you can imagine for about a year. I finally said, 'This isn't right.' So I got a second opinion and another MRI, and the guy said there was still a pretty bad infection in my head."
Terrell had a second surgery about a year ago. He was told he was good to go, but soon, the leaking started up again. He just couldn't shake the ailment.
After getting a referral, though, Terrell finally hooked up with a doctor at the University of California-San Francisco who really tackled the problem.
"The guy's been doing a good job fixing it," Terrell said. "He's actually been cauterizing it. He puts this powder in my ear that burns. He explained it the first time. He said, 'This is going to feel like an icepick.'"
Terrell still gets cauterization procedures once a month, and the process should be finalized by the spring. In the meantime, he's been back to training and helping his students – such as Nate Loughran, Emily Thompson, Kyle Pimentel and Bellator champ Joe Soto – get ready for their fights.
However, Terrell said he definitely wants to get one of his own.
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