UFC lightweight Drakkar Klose is returning to the octagon this weekend after being sidelined for a year due to injury resulting from getting shoved by Jeremy Stephens last year.
Klose was matched up against Stephens on the UFC Vegas 24 card in April of last year.
But during the weigh-in, Stephens seemed to be trying to play a mind game with Klose and shoved him out of nowhere.
The security team then quickly separated the two and Klose was brought back with his team backstage.
However, later that day, it was announced that the fight was scrapped as Klose suffered a cervical sprain on his neck and a concussion from the push.
Klose later wrote a statement on his social media that he felt his “hand go numb and neck tighten up” after the shove.
In addition to that, he also said that he had migraines and nausea in addition to the numbness.
Stephens, on the other hand, told his followers on his Instagram that Klose “just got a little too close, with aggressive behavior walking up.”
Fast forward to a year after the incident, Stephens is now cut from the UFC and singed with PFL, while Klose is still suffering the damage from the shove.
In a recent interview, Klose admitted that he’s still not 100% recovered, and detailed what happened around the incident.
“The damage was done, I’m still not 100 percent from that,” Klose said.
“It’s something I will probably need surgery on eventually. I told myself if I have to get surgery, I’m just going to call it quits. Just trying to manage it and do the therapy and all that.”
“That’s the last thing I want on weigh-in day is to be touched. All week he was being buddy-buddy, and then come weigh-in day his whole attitude changed. I wish he would have kept the same energy all week because then I wouldn’t have gone in there with my guard down.
He also said that he almost decided to retire following the incident due to the struggles he faced during the recovery.
“I did think that was going to be the end of me. I was having really bad headaches, dealing with my neck issue, it is something serious. When I saw my doctor he talked about fusing my neck and I didn’t want to hear that.
“I want to go out on my terms, I don’t want to go out with the doctor telling me I can’t do this. It was a herniated disc, C6, C7, as soon as it happened my whole arm went numb, and later that night, things weren’t right and I woke up couldn’t open my eyes, a real bad headache.”
The 34-year-old further added that if it wasn’t for his wife Cortney Casey fighting in 2021, “I’d probably be living on the street or working at McDonald’s or something like that.”
Klose went on to receive Show money from the UFC. The organization issued no statements on the matter but they do appear to be extra cautious about face offs in the fall out.
“There is a lot of other stuff that I will probably say when I’m done fighting but they pay me so I will keep my mouth shut.”
“They ended up giving me my show money but they never said anything to me,” Klose added. “To me, it’s kind of ridiculous, he really f*cked me up. I remember driving home from that fight and I was crying, I don’t know why I was crying but my head was so messed up.” Klose told Just Scrap Radio.
But now, he will have the opportunity to prove himself again as he is set to fight Brandon Jenkins this weekend at UFC Vegas 52.
Luthfi Prawiro is a writer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has a strong passion for combat sports and a BA in Psychology. His undergraduate thesis was on the Sports Psychology of MMA.