Wednesday morning, UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar made an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter to tell fans about his medical situation over the past few months.
Now, additional details have emerged concerning the former University of Minnesota wrestler’s serious battle for his health — and his life.
In an excellent article for the mixed martial arts website Sherdog.com titled “Brock Lesnar’s Fight For His Life”, writer Loretta Hunt provides new information disclosed in a Wednesday conference call.
For starters, a clarification on Lesnar’s ailment: Instead of diverticulitis, the champ has been suffering from diverticulosis. “I had a perforation. One of my diverticula ruptured,” Lesnar said during the call. “I had a hole in my stomach, needless to say, a minor hole, but any tear in your stomach liner releases free air and I was killing myself. My abscesses were so large that my body was infected. My body couldn’t gain all the nutrients I needed. I couldn’t eat enough food to get enough energy.”
Other details disclosed in the Sherdog article:
From the begining: In the conference call, Brock Lesnar disclosed that he hadn’t felt well for almost a year. However, as he trained for November’s scheduled bout with former NCAA Division II heavyweight champ Shane Carwin at UFC 106, he realized his situation was getting worse, and he withdrew from the match, not wanting to “give a bad performance” or “risk losing my title.”
Trips to the doctor: As his health failed to improve, Lesnar made repeat visits to doctors, who thought it was mononucleosis or the H1N1 virus. At the time, the South Dakota native refused at CT scan, which might have revealed the problem.
While in Canada: To get away from what Lesnar described as “the chaos,” the champ took a hunting trip to Canada. While there, he woke up one night “in shock” with a high fever. He went to a Canadian medical facility (which he refused to name) where he became concerned about the care he was receiving. (The Sherdog article details those concerns.)
A run for the border: As Lesnar told the story in the conference call, “I wasn’t at the right facility… I knew that I had to get out of there. My wife saved my life. She got me out of there and drove a hundred miles an hour to get me to Bismarck, North Dakota, to MedCenter One, got me with Dr. Berger and his staff at MedCenter One, and that doctor there saved my career and my life.”
In Bismarck: While at MedCenter One, Lesnar’s doctors wanted to perform major surgery once the area’s swelling had gone down. “What they wanted to do was go in and remove the bad section of my colon,” Lesnar said. “If that perforation hadn’t have healed itself, that’s what I was facing.”
The Sherdog article provides details of the proposed surgery, which Lesnar believed would have ended his UFC career.
While at the Bismarck hospital, Lesnar had what he described as a “small medical procedure” to drain three pockets of fluid, and was given antibiotics.
After 11 days at MedCenter One, Lesnar was released to his home in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Mayo Clinic weighs in: Seeking a second opinion, Brock Lesnar went to Mayo Clinic. Experts at the world-renowned medical center confirmed what the doctors in Bismarck were saying: the 32-year-old UFC champ needed to have the surgery performed within three months. He was asked to return in six weeks for a colonoscopy examination.
Back home, he changed his diet, and started working out.
On January 5, Lesnar returned to Mayo, where, as he described it, “They found absolutely nothing. The doctors came in and their whole panel at the Mayo Clinic just said, ‘You just got a winning lottery ticket. We don’t need to do surgery on you.’”
A follow-up CT scan Monday confirmed those results for the time being.
During the conference call, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Lesnar will likely face the winner of the Shane Carwin-Frank Mir bout scheduled for March 27.
Brock Edward Lesnar made a name for himself in college wrestling a decade ago, first at Bismarck State College (where he was an National Junior College Athletic Association heavyweight champ), then at the University of Minnesota, where he was a two-time Big Ten champ, and two-time NCAA Division I All-American, losing in the 1999 NCAA finals to Stephen Neal of Cal State Bakersfield… but winning the title at the 2000 NCAAs, in a thrilling overtime bout with Iowa’s Wes Hand.
Sherdog.com: Brock Lesnar’s fight for his life
College Wrestling Examiner, January 20: Brock’s back; UFC’s White says “It’s a miracle”
College Wrestling Examiner: Articles on Brock Lesnar including Brock Lesnar’s college days
InterMat Rewind: University of Minnesota’s heavyweight legacy (includes Brock Lesnar)
NCAA Heavyweight Champs Yahoo group: Photos and info on Brock Lesnar
TheMat.com: Schedule and scores for January 18-24
TheMat.com: Wrestlers of the Week
College Wrestling 101: Links to articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, more
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