Many highly anticipated bouts are cancelled due to injury, and many fighters' careers are highly affected by it. They're saddening in every aspect, but fighters and fans just have to accept that they're part of the sport.
UFC lightweight Abel Trujillo's career has been plagued with injuries over the course of two years. Kicking off 2014, he won 'Fight of the Night' with a TKO win over Jamie Varner, which was a fantastic start to the New Year. Unbeknownst to him, he would go on to be booked against five different opponents that year but would only fight once more. His opponents constantly pulled out of fights with various injuries, and he suffered one, himself.
"Killa" finally returned from a 10-month layoff against current top contender Tony Ferguson at UFC 181, but was choked out in the 2nd round. He was booked to fight in Montreal, Quebec, Canada earlier this year, but he got hurt and had to pull out. Since December 2014, he has yet to step inside the Octagon.
"I had a lot of opponents back out -- three or four at one point -- in a row, and then it was my turn. It was crazy, I started getting hurt, some injuries during practice. I broke my arm," Trujillo told MMAjr Radio on Thursday. "I was supposed to fight [John] Makdessi in March or April but my arm wasn't healing right so I had surgery, and that got prolonged."
All of this bad news added up and eventually took a toll on the 32-year old, who trains out of the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, FL.
"It was tough, kind of like taking something I love away from me. I was a little depressed, I wasn't really training," he stated. "But in the big scheme of things, I think I needed that. It gave me time to enjoy life a little bit more and get away from fighting, because fighting is only a small percentage of my life."
Even though he's been out of action for nearly a year, Trujillo isn't worried about so-called "ring rust" and is confident in himself to get the job done when he faces Gleison Tibau this weekend at UFC Fight Night 77).
"I think I'm going to be fine. My last fight, the [Tony] Ferguson fight, I didn't spar that entire camp. I think that may have hurt me, conditioning-wise. Even though I was doing conditioning, you still need that sparring conditioning. I avoided sparring just so I could be healthy to fight," he explained. "This fight is different, I sparred a lot for this fight, so I have sparring conditioning. It's going to be good, I think that's going to be a major factor in this fight."
Trujillo hasn't picked up a victory inside the cage since the UFC 169 matchup against the now-retired Varner, and with dozens of fighters recently receiving the dreaded pink slip, some people would assume he's under all the pressure in the world. Actually, he doesn't even think about the fact he's coming into this bout on Saturday night coming off a stoppage loss, nor does he care.
"Usually, I guess for most people, it'd be a little pressure, 'Oh I lost, I don't want to lose again, I gotta win,' but for me, I don't consider me coming off a loss because I'm not worried about that stuff. I'm not worried about winning, I'm not worried about losing," he said. "I think that's going to be a factor in this fight, I'm just happy to perform. I'm not really worried about getting that extra check or winning.
"I'm just excited to do what I love, and I haven't felt like this in a long time."