MMA Injury Rewind: UFC Fight Night Shogun vs. Sonnen

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

This edition of MMA Injury Rewind features three fighters on the UFC Fight Night card who are returning to the Octagon after injury layoffs, and a couple with a notable injury history.

Mike Brown

Brown returns to the Octagon for his first bout since May of 2012 at UFC 146. In September Brown underwent surgery on his neck. In an interview on The MMA Hour, he noted that he has had problems with his neck for a long time prior to the surgery, and it was causing numbness and weakness in his left arm.

The technical description of the surgery is C7-T1 fusion. This surgery involves use of hardware to fuse the last cervical vertebra (the 7th) to the first thoracic vertebra, thereby eliminating movement at this segment and relieving impingement (or pinching) on the cervical nerves exiting at this level. This was Brown's second cervical surgery, the first occurring about 20 years ago when he had removal of one of the cervical discs (discectomy). Brown notes that the most recent surgery has restored strength to his arm.

For the sake of Brown's health, let's hope he does not get caught in a neck crank submission.

Joe Lauzon

Lauzon's last fight was an unforgettable scrap with Jim Miller at December 2012's UFC 155. Who can forget that nasty cut over Lauzon's right eye. Here is a time lapse photo gallery of the healing cut, courtesy of

Manny Gamburyan

Manny has been out of action since August of 2012. He withdrew from scheduled UFC fights in February and May of this year with injuries. In February, he withdrew from UFC 157 after suffering a fractured thumb during sparring. He then learned after a doctor visit that he had also fractured his elbow. Here is a list of his most recent injuries leading to his removal from fight cards.

  1. March 2011- Withdrew from bout with Raphael Assuncao at UFC 128 due to a back injury.
  2. Sept 2011- Withdrew from fight with Diego Nunes at UFC 135 due to a shoulder injury.
  3. February 2013- Withdrew from fight with Chad Mendes at UFC 157 due to thumb, elbow injuries.
  4. May 18, 2013- Manny was expected to face Hacran Dias at UFC on FX 8, but has withdrawn due to injury.

There are two fighters on the UFC Fight Night card who, while they are not making their first appearance following injury, do have an interesting injury history.

Michael McDonald

McDonald enters his second fight since a 2012 surgery to repair a tendon injury in his right hand. The injury involved the extensor tendon at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint on his second finger. He had surgery to correct the problem, and returned in February to fight (and lose to) Renan Barao at UFC of Fuel TV 7. Here is an excellent UFC Tonight video featuring Dr. Robert Klapper explaining the surgery.

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

Any time Shogun enters the Octagon, we must discuss his history of knee problems. It appears that Shogun's injuries involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Here is the history of his knee injuries dating back to 2007.

  1. September 2007- Shogun fought Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, apparently with an already-damaged ACL. Following this fight, he goes under the knife for ACL reconstruction surgery in Brazil.
  2. His ACL surgery failed. He re-injured the same knee sometime soon after the original ACL surgery. A 2011 article notes that rehab was rushed, leading to the second ACL injury. Rua is forced to have a second ACL surgery.
  3. May 2010- He earns a KO victory in a rematch with Machida at UFC 113. It was revealed after the fight that Rua had once again injured his knee. He undergoes surgery to repair the knee in June 2010.

Including the 2007 loss to Forrest Griffin, 5 of Shogun's 7 career losses have occurred since his original knee injury prior to the Griffin fight.

Of all the fighters discussed here, I am probably most concerned about Mike Brown. He's 37 years old, has had a lot of fights and has suffered a lot of damage to his body. Brown has detailed the toll that fighting has taken on his body, including 2 neck surgeries, 4 knee surgeries, hand surgery for a ligament repair, and a biceps repair. On his behalf, he has said that he is now healthy and feeling good.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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