UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar spoke with Mike Straka from UFC.com today and expounded on the injury that forced him to pull out of his upcoming UFC 130 rubber match with Gray Maynard. According to the Toms River, New Jersey native, reports that he suffered a rib injury in training were erroneous.
“All of the reports are talking about my ribs, it’s actually my back. My back’s been bothering me for quite some time. A few weeks ago I had to take a week off so that my back could calm down and I was trying to fight through it,” Edgar explains. “I got through it and it kept blowing out on me here and there but then I ended up blowing out a rib last week. My rib kept popping in and out and then last week my back went out on me really bad, so I went to see a doctor and he said I’ve got bulging discs and now I’m going to go see a specialist to see what he can do about it.
“The Answer” says that he was contemplating fighting through the excruciating pain to go through with his third title defense, but was told by a doctor that he shouldn’t be doing anything more than resting. Since then he says he has spent the majority of his time laying sprawled out on his back on the floor as it’s the only position that alleviates the pain and pressure on his back.
“I saw a UFC doctor yesterday and he said my L2 and L5 discs are bulged, and he recommended that I don’t fight right now. I can’t even put my socks on or hold my kids, it’s pretty bad right now. I was planning on going through with the fight with the back injury. I didn’t want to postpone the bout at all. I feel like I lost the fight right now,” he says. “I’m very depressed about this whole situation. I’m sure in a couple of days I’ll realize I did the right thing by going to see a doctor. It’s not fair to myself, to Gray, it’s not fair to the fans to take a fight like this. I mean, I’m never 100 percent healthy when I step in the Octagon anyway but this is something different. I’m not even 30% right now. When it’s really inflamed, the pain is excruciating. When [the injury] happened on Saturday the drive back home from Ricardo [Almeida's gym] was the longest drive of my life.”
Although he’s disappointed the fight had to be postponed, Edgar says that the fans deserve to see him fight Maynard (who is also tending to his own training injuries) as close to 100 percent healthy as possible.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be out. I’m hoping surgery won’t be an option right now, I’m hoping I can rehab it and get better and get back to training in a month, but I can’t give you any solid answer right now as to how long I’ll be out,” says Edgar. “From what I hear, Gray is pretty banged up and he wasn’t having the best camp either, so maybe everything happens for a reason. I know that when I fight Gray I want him to be at his best, he wants me to be at my best and I’m sure the fans want us both at our best too.”