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.
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.
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!