“It’s been a rough year for me, as a lot of guys know. I had back surgery in February, I was contemplating retirement and I kind of had some choices: either do the surgery or retire. We went with the surgery, and we didn’t know how it was going to turn out,” George told hosts Pedro Carrasco and George Matthews. “And now, I’d like to make the announcement: I’ll be fighting October 5th in Pomona [California] for a show called Pandemonium in the Los Angeles area, and I’m feeling the best I’ve felt probably my entire career.”
George, the star of the acclaimed documentary “Occupation: Fighter”, suffered a herniated disc in his back during training for a fight over four years ago and had regularly required cortisone shots in order to make it through camp. When he finally decided to go under the knife to repair his back earlier this year, he was taking a big risk.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had surgery in my life. I didn’t know what to expect,” George said of the procedure that has helped him return to 100% for the first time in a long time.
“They were hoping that my recovery would be fast and I’d be able to get full mobility and proper strength back in my body, and I didn’t think it was going to be as fast as it was.”
For a couple of years following the injury, George said that surgery was not an option. Barely able to afford an MRI, the pain became so extreme that it was a task just to put on socks in the morning, let alone wrestle during training camp.
During his initial meeting with a physician following his MRI, George came to realize just how serious the injury was.
“When I went to show my MRI’s to the first doctor who looked at it, he thought it was a guy in a wheelchair coming in,” George said. “He didn’t think it was going to be a guy who had just competed in the jiu-jitsu world championships and fighting for the last handful of years. He thought it was literally a guy coming in that was just unable to walk.”
Thanks to physical therapy, George is already training hard in preparation for his first professional bout in over a year. However, he says he now plans to stay away from training with much heavier partners at Punch Kick Grapple, the LA-based academy that he calls home.
Despite the severity of his injury, the man they call “Savage” made no excuses for any losses he suffered during his MMA career, and contends that he would have never taken a fight he didn’t think he could win, even in his condition.
“To be honest, I wish I would’ve done this [surgery] years ago, but you can’t look backward. You can only go forward.”
We here at BJPENN.COM certainly look forward to Chad George’s return later this year! To hear the full-length interview with Chad, listen to the player below and be sure to follow him on twitter, @savage135, for updates.Tags: BJPENN.com, BJPenn.Com Radio, Chad George, Occupation: Fighter, PKG, PKG LA, Punch Kick Grapple, Savage