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Broken Thumbs. ROF 35. Throwback Thursday?

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.

Eliot's a "tough love" type of guy.

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.

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.

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.


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.