UFC featherweight Eddie Yagin is going to be okay.
As detailed by SI's Loretta Hunt, earlier this month he felt extreme pain in his head, got it checked promptly, was hospitalized with the possibility of surgery, and has now been released, with doctors orders to take six months off mixed martial arts.
With a dozen years in the game, Yagin hopes others learn from his experience.
The event was not precipitated by a memorable contact. The day before he sparred with head gear, 16 oz gloves, and shin pads.
"There was no devastating blow," he said. "I didn't get knocked down. I didn't get knocked out. It was my everyday routine, just getting ready for the fight."
"I read that it could have happened from taking blood thinners and anticoagulant medication like aspirin and ibuprofen. Along with that, I was probably just hit in the right spot at the right time."
"You know your own body. f you want to see yourself in the cage more in the future, I'd say to seek medical attention as soon as you feel there's something wrong. Don't let the coaches sway you if they try to; they can't feel the pain you're feeling."
Yagin, who was training for a bout against German striker Dennis Siver at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8, woke up on Nov. 11 to debilitating migraine-equivalent pain. When his body wouldn't hold down any of the fluids he drank to replenish his body, the 33-year-old Yagin decided to go to the emergency room.
Doctors conducted an MRI and a CAT scan, then immediately admitted the fighter when the tests revealed a subdural hematoma. Yagin was held for observation with the possibility of surgery if his condition didn't improve. After the swelling subsided, Yagin was released three days later.
Yagin said he plans to heed his physician's recommendation for six month's rest before he resumes his fighting career.
Yagin's medical bills will be covered by health insurance provided by UFC owners Zuffa LLC, which began offering an out-of-competition benefits plan to its 300-plus contracted fighters last year. Yagin said multiple Zuffa representatives have contacted him to check on his status, including UFC owners Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby.
"I couldn't be any more grateful to be a part of a promotion that takes care of its fighters," said Yagin.
Yagin plans to return to his native Hawaii to pick up work as a tattoo artist (a skill he learned at age 14) and as a Filipino-fusion cook, as well as spend time with his family.
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