Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fighting his way back

Rob Sullivan was riding high in his mixed martial arts career earlier this year. He was victorious in his most recent bout at Shogun Fights in April, and was slated to fight again in mid-July for Cage Fury Fighting Championships. Unfortunately, he never got there.

While training for his next fight, as cruel fate would have it, and on the very day he was going to sign the contract to make his next fight for CFFC official, "my training partner and I were just going at 75 percent with our takedown finish and defense off the cage," Sullivan said. "He went for a back trip and I defended by going for a switch. My feet didn't slide out of the way and we were both pretty much off balance. Next thing I know, his weight drove forward into my knee."

A pair of loud pops immediately caused Sullivan to scream out in pain. He received a MRI and the awful news at the end of that day: He completely tore his ACL, partially tore his MCL and suffered additional bruising, contusions and sprains in his knee.

Sullivan underwent five weeks of pre-rehabilitation before his surgery on July 2. He started his offical rehab soon thereafter and according to his physical therapist and doctor, "I seem to be ahead of the curve," Sullivan said. "The first few weeks was just getting the fluid down, getting my ability to straighten my leg back and muscle control. Now I am doing light jumping movements, riding my bike, things like that."

Sullivan expects to complete his rehab in December and expects some kind of after effects, especially mentally.

"All injuries affect you if you are any sort of athlete," Sullivan said. "However, I have been through way worse and bounced back in life. I am not that worried about how it affects my fighting career."

In a way, Sullivan sees his injury as a blessing in disguise.

"It's given me a chance to rehab other injuries I have had for a very long time," he said. "Maybe in a way, my body needed the break."

Despite his trials and tribulations, Sullivan has no plans to hang up his gloves. He should be back to full-time MMA training by spring 2016, if not earlier, and is even considering competing in a boxing match this winter.

"I can tell you I haven't thought of ending my fighting career," he said. "Nothing makes me happier. I start light drilling in September, as well as pad work and teaching classes again in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I plan to make the best of a bad situation by the time I return - just soak in more knowledge and get sharper."