Leah Letson thought her career might have been over.
After Letson competed on TUF 28 and beat Julija Stoliarenko in the third-place matchup on the show, she was awarded a UFC contract. However, since that fight on November 30, 2018, Letson hasn’t fought since.
Following the conclusion of the show, her body began shutting down on her. After all the years of brutal weight cuts to get down to 135lbs and overtraining, she finally started to feel the effects. She spent countless days in doctor’s offices and hospitals, and the UFC PI told her she had the worse case of overtraining and undereating they have ever seen before.
“I’ve had some very significant health issues, everything from my thyroid, my hormones, my gut biome, and even my mitochondria were all messed up from severe overtraining and undereating,” Leah Letson said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “The UFC Performance Institute actually said I was the worst case of overtraining and undereating they have ever seen before. It took about three years for me to actually heal my body and all the damage I was doing from the overtraining and undereating from weight cuts.”
After nearly three years away from the sport working on getting her body healthy, Letson finally noticed a big change this year. Then, in the summer, she was finally cleared to return to fight which was a massive sigh of relief.
“I noticed I was feeling so much better and my lab work was coming back better from my doctor in early summer,” Letson said. “In July I went out to the PI and they gave me the green light to fight at 145lbs. I immediately texted my manager and he let the UFC know right away.”
Although Leah Letson was cleared to return this summer, she says during that two-and-half-year stretch, there were some dark times for her. She wondered if she’d ever be able to fight again, or do what she loves, which was heartbreaking.
However, now that she is healthy enough and accepted a fight against Felicia Spencer at UFC Vegas 42, she says that is her won victory regardless of what happens inside the Octagon on Saturday.
“There were some really dark times. I’d say the first two-and-a-half years of me dealing with all these health issues, I was questioning whether or not I’d ever be able to get back into the Octagon,” Letson explained. “It was really tough because this is my passion and what I think I was meant to do, so when you are wondering if you can ever do it again, it’s heartbreaking. That’s why I’m so excited to even be healthy enough to accept a fight, that’s the first victory there.”
Although Letson already feels like a winner for just being able to fight again, she is confident she has the skills to defeat Spencer. She knows the Canadian is tough, but she has improved a ton in the three years off and expects to be able to grind out a hard-fought decision win.
“I was really excited when they offered me Felicia Spencer because she is really tough and I want to test my skills against the best,” Letson concluded. “She’s fought two of the toughest girls in the world in Nunes and Cyborg, so it’s a great test for my skills. I do think it will be a unanimous decision win for me though as she is very tough.”This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM