August 1st, 2009 — I was coming off a tough training camp, but in solid shape and ready to go against tough Brazilian Fabio Serrao. Nicknamed “Jungle Boy”, Serrao is a black belt in BJJ and NAGA World Champion — he was certainly the most decorated BJJ fighter I had fought to date. Plus, he was simply huge.
I won a decision in a tough fight, but that’s really not the point of this post. At some point during the first round, I broke my thumb. Pretty bad — basically in half.
In between the first and second round, I sat down on the stool, and Eliot Marshall began feeding me instructions. I interrupted him to tell him that I thought I broke my hand. Eliot, looking shocked that I interrupted him, snapped back “I don’t give a f***!” I remember being surprised at the lack of sympathy I got, but it was pretty much exactly what I needed to hear. It turned out, Serrao didn’t care if I broke my thumb, either. I fought the next two rounds with a broken right hand, which I kept throwing at him, and kept regretting every time it landed.
Here’s the reason for this post — I found an old memory card in my office this morning. Curious, I opened it up on my computer to see what was on it, and I found this video. My thumb required surgery, and I had two pins put in to keep the bone in place post surgery. After six weeks, I had the pins removed. Before the surgeon pulled out the second pin, I thought it would be a good idea to film it. If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like for a doctor to pull a pin out of your thumb bone, here it is…
I was surprised there was no anesthetic involved, but it really didn’t hurt. It was certainly a strange feeling, though — I remember feeling my thumb bone vibrate as he twisted the pin back and forth to pry it loose. The most painful part was my skin heating up from the friction of the twisting of the pin. Weird.
A little fun fact — 2 and a half years later, my buddy Jarred Mercado beat Fabio Serrao in a unanimous decision on another ROF card here in Colorado. Jarred broke his thumb in the first round.