Kazuo Misaki talked to the press about his epic bout against Jorge Santiago, and mentioned something that is pretty bothering. He injured his leg about a month ago, and even had to inject painkillers before the fight:
Misaki injured his right leg around 1 month before the fight and entered the fight with almost no training during the period from sustaining the injury until the fight. He gassed after the first two rounds of the fight, which is the main reason he fought on instinct only the last three rounds of the fight.
His injury was quite a major one to his right ankle that he sustained while grappling. The diagnosis was that he would not fully recover for 2-3 months. He had painkiller(s) injected before the fight as well as his ankle taped.
Misaki also talked about his cornerman "saving his life" for throwing in the towel:
"He (the cornerman that threw in the towel) saved my life so I’m thankful... I don’t think the injury was the cause for my defeat, I lost being in 100% condition at fight day. It’s possible that Santiago might have been injured as well, I lost because my best was insufficient, only mortifying thoughts remain now. I think I would’ve entered the ring even if I lost one of my legs, I’m a fighter who fights, not with technique, but with heart."
"Even if the timing of the towel throw was a little late, I might not have been here now."
Sure, it makes him a "bad ass" for putting on a great fight despite being that injured, and although it is legal on their rules, it puts Misaki's health and career at risk. Why? Dave Walsh points out a quote from NSAC's Keith Kizer explaining why it is dangerous, and illegal to do in the US:
In the past, the main reason steroids is illegal or prohibited, just like marijuana, just like alcohol, just like aspirin to take before a fight is because it puts the athlete at risk. It's a danger to him. For example, aspirin can cause you to bleed into your brain. Obviously marijuana and alcohol can change your reflexes, slow them down, so you can get injured, or it could numb the pain so you don't realize you're hurt. That's why we don't let fighters, for example, to have cortisone shots into their back or into their hand before they fight because they can not realize they're hurt and they keep fighting and the next thing you know they're permanently damaged.
Dave Walsh elaborates on this and says that Fighter Safety needs to be addressed more in Japan:
To no one's shock, this has yet to really be addressed as in Japan, there are no athletic commissions to monitor or test the athletes. It isn't clear from here what Misaki had injected into him or what sort of advantage it would give him in a fight, but regardless that would not fly in the US. There has been some debate over the use of Cortisone shots in MMA, and it is plausible that is what Misaki used here, but that could compromise Misaki's safety if his ankle was further injured.
Since this happened in Japan, Misaki did absolutely nothing illegal or even wrong, according to the rules, but this should raise some serious questions and start some discussion as to what the hell goes on in Japan and how they might need to look to the future and emerge from the dark ages. They need to begin worrying about the health of their fighters, and I say this after we heard that Kazushi Sakuraba will most likely be competing at DREAM.16 against Mayhem Miller. No US athletic commission would license Sakuraba at this point, I believe.