Congratulations to Cody Donovan on his Retirement.

It’s always tough to see one of the good guys hang their gloves up.  Somebody who didn’t take any shortcuts, who never took advantage of anyone, who put his nose to the grindstone and worked his ass off through injuries, losses, and victories.  Cody Donovan is truly one of the good guys in mixed martial arts.

When you’re in a business long enough — in my case, mixed martial arts — you see a lot of things that kind of sour you on the whole experience.  I’ve been somewhat jaded on the sport for some time.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love fighting.  I’m sure I always will.  One of the things that has kept that love strong is watching genuinely good guys like Cody experience great success.  I’ve been lucky enough to call him a friend since probably 2006 when the BJJ Boulder crew and the High Altitude crew (and a few others) began training together, forming what we called the “Colorado Top Team”.  I think a couple of those nerds even got tattoos.

 I was there for Cody’s first amateur fight in Vail (a sub-minute submission victory). I remember Ben Henderson losing to local Rocky Johnson on that same card. We got yelled at by the Colorado State Athletic Commission when they caught us slamming Guinness backstage at Ring of Fire 29, where we both experienced our first losses. We fought on the same card in February of 2008, when Cody won his first belt.  I remember my wife and I losing it at a local bar watching Cody win his UFC debut in the middle of the day (on the one small screen they would dedicate to the UFC prelims). It’s truly been a pleasure watching Cody’s career from the beginning, and it’s bittersweet to see him move on from fighting.

I’ve fought many battles with Cody by my side, in the gym, in the ring, and in life. To one of the toughest dudes I know — here’s to enduring success in the rest of your life. The next beer’s on me.

I’m ok! I’m ok! I promise…

Well, my Lion Fight debut certainly didn’t go as planned.

The weight cut to 142lbs went surprisingly well, I rehydrated well, and felt on top of my game going into the fight. I haven’t seen the tape yet, but I felt like the first round was going pretty well — I was getting a good read on his offense, and I thought I was just beginning to open up some good opportunities on his defense. Then, about halfway through the first round, my opponent, Gaston Bolanos, hit me with probably the most well-timed and placed strike I’ve ever been hit with; a spinning elbow that landed directly on my eyeball. I suppose it was all downhill from there. The lights went out in that eye right away, and I could feel that he opened up a pretty good cut on my eyebrow. I remember thinking that I would kind of take the rest of the round off, regain my vision in between rounds, and get back on track.
I walked back to the corner on the bell, and argued with Professor Duane Ludwig and the ringside Dr. as they waived the fight off. Looking back, it was certainly the right call.

After spending about 7 hours in the most poorly run facility (the University Medical Center E.R. in Las Vegas) I’ve ever been in, I had 11 stitches and a rough idea of the rest of my injuries.

Got that Rich Franklin nose going on...

I got back to Colorado on Sunday, and was able to get a quick appointment with one of the most prestigious otolaryngologists in the US a couple of days later. Dr. Mario Imola performed several procedures on my uncle when he was diagnosed with jaw cancer years back. He became a good family friend, and fixed my nose 9 or so years ago the first time I got hit with a left hook and found it on the other side of my face. He did me a solid and got me into surgery last night (Friday, the 11th).

Dr. Imola re-broke my nose, and straightened out the 2 fractures I received in the fight. Don’t worry, ladies, I will be handsome once again. On the more fun end, he informed me that I had two fractures in the floor of my orbital bone, one of which was 40mm long. Seems like pretty important information, huh? I wonder why the Dr’s in Las Vegas felt the need to leave that out. My eye was, for lack of a better term, sinking into my face. On top of that, the bone was pinching one of my ocular muscles, causing double vision (which was making me feel like a drunk for the entire week leading up to surgery). He made an incision just under my eye and inserted a mesh plate to hold my eye in place.

This is a selfie record for me.

About 20 hours, a whole bunch of narcotic painkillers, and some terrible hospital food later, I’m back home and as good as one of those refurbished pieces of furniture you buy at scratch & dent stores. Shout out to the facilities and staff at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado — that place is heaven on earth compared to the UMC in Vegas (thanks Dr. Imola, Cassie, Jessica, Maggie, and Jenna for making my stay so comfortable). Once again, Colorado proves its superiority over the other 49 states.

And on that note, I’m going to rest up for a couple of days before my wife takes me on vacation. Rough fight, but life isn’t too bad…

Thanks for the support everyone!

Some love for my sponsors.

Before I leave for Vegas, and before I’m cutting weight (while I’m still in a good mood), I want to shout out some love to those that support me.
Of course, huge thanks to my family and friends, who put up with all the baggage that comes with my fighting – especially my wife, who is as supportive as anyone could possibly be. Her cooking has been instrumental in me keeping my sanity on the way down to 142lbs. I couldn’t do this without your support.
Huge thanks as always to Billy at Shompton, one of my best friends and biggest supporters since day one. It’s because of Billy that I have a webpage to keep you guys updated with, and his nagging is the reason I have more than two Twitter posts.
Also huge thanks to Brothers BBQ, big supporters of Colorado MMA for a long time, and the reason I get out of bed in the morning.
Last but not least, thanks to InFightStyle for hooking up my shorts and walkout jacket.  If you’re in need of any Muay Thai gear, InFightStyle carries the finest quality gear around.


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Here’s a quick preview of my shorts and walkout top for the fight.
Now, on to the weight cut. See you guys in a couple of days.