My current camp for Gegard Mousasi at #UFC210 is going great. I’m feeling healthy, I’m in really good shape, and I’m excited to go out there and put on a show and get back on track.
Al Iaquinta is back in the gym with me, getting ready for his comeback fight against Diego Sanchez, Aljamain Sterling is preparing for his fight at UFC Kansas City, and we have some different sparring partners we work with from Jersey. So, we got a full team going these days.
As an MMA veteran, I understand how to take care of my body at this point, but back in my college wrestling days, I wasn’t as experienced. I definitely could have used some better medical advice back then.
During my junior year -- that was my first year wrestling D-1 -- my knee was messed up the entire year. The trainers told me it was just scar tissue from a minor surgery, a simple knee scope, I had at the beginning of the season.
For literally the entire season, I couldn’t shoot takedowns; the whole year was a disaster.
I guess I didn’t rehab the knee well enough after arthroscopic surgery; I went directly into #wrestling, and it was too much trauma for the knee. Regardless, I kept pushing through, thinking that my knee wouldn’t bend because of scar tissue.
The diagnosis was wrong ...
Right before the qualifier for the #NCAA tournament, I went to get a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon. After he took one look at my knee, he thought I was crazy for wrestling on my knee the entire year. The doctor then drained tubes and tubes of fluid out of my knee, and I was finally able to move my knee around for the first time in months.
I immediately felt better than I had all year, right in time for the NCAA wrestling tournament; I could finally shoot takedowns, and during #MarchMadness, I went out there and I beat the number-one seed.
These days, if I need to, I can get my knee drained any time (it’s still allowed by USADA), but when you’re younger and don’t have any experience, you just tend to listen to the people around you.
So remember, no matter how big or small any injury may be, it’s always worth a second opinion. That second look may mean the difference between rehabbing with a trainer and having a major surgery. And who knows, it may even have an immediate affect on your takedown game at a very crucial point in your career.