soa-palelei-1.jpgIt didn’t take Soa Palelei long to realize the severity of an injury he thought he could fight through.

Prior to his preliminary-card bout with heavyweight newcomer Nikita Krylov (15-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at this past Saturday’s UFC 164 event, Palelei (19-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) said his doctor diagnosed a rib injury and recommended he take a cortisone shot or prescription painkiller to get through the fight. But he didn’t get a full diagnosis, and taking a drug probably would have gotten him in trouble with the athletic commission overseeing the bout, anyway. So he held off.

Over the summer, Palelei, whose sole UFC bout came all the way back in 2007 and ended via TKO loss, was devastated when the promotion pulled him from a fight at UFC 161 with up-and-comer Stipe Miocic. He couldn’t bear giving up a second chance.

“I worked so hard for the last three years to get to my position now,” Palelei told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “We had got all the fans, and we’d made all our trips with the cornermen, and paid for their fights. It was one of those fights where I’ll get in there and try to get it done as quick as I can.”

And it was a decision he came to regret. As he powered into a takedown early in the first round of the fight, Krylov’s knee slammed into his ribs. From then on, his chief opponent was excruciating pain.

“There was pain every time I set up a position on the ground,” Palelei said. “Usually if I’m on top, I can finish it from there, but I had no power on my punches. It was just one of those fights that you think, ‘God,’ and just push through it.”

He had help on that front from his cornerman, who was picked up by cageside mics telling him to ignore his ribs and keep driving for a finish. But getting a finish seemed nearly impossible to Palelei.

“It was hard to throw a left hook, and my left hook is my best power punch,” he said. “Every time I threw a punch, it felt like my rib was digging through my heart. It was so painful. When he was throwing punches, it’s not that I [didn't want] to punch back. It was just the pain.”

Luckily, Palelei also had some help from his opponent, who seemed at times to be in even worse shape. By the third round, Krylov was running on fumes and easily taken to the mat, where he gave up mount. Early in the fight’s final frame, the Russian succumbed to Palelei’s weakened punches.

“I think if [Krylov] did end up on top of me, there’s no way I would have got him off because I would have had to push and turn,” Palelei said. “I’m happy to get the win, but I’m not happy with my performance.

Neither was the UFC brass, or, for that matter, the bulk of MMA fans who saw it streaming on Facebook. After the pay-per-view card, which took place at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center, UFC President Dana White called Palelei’s fight “embarrassing” and sloppy.” Like most who watched the heavyweights, he thought the pair was dreadfully out of shape.

While that wasn’t the case for Palelei, the 36-year-old fighter isn’t upset at being raked over the proverbial coals.

“Any criticism is something you can take on board, whether it’s positive or negative, and learn from it,” he said. “But it was one of those fights. I don’t blame Dana White for giving me that kind of criticism.”

Palelei immediately went to the hospital following the event and was diagnosed with a fractured rib. He spent one sleepless night in Milwaukee before returning to the hospital the day after the event.

“They gave me some good painkillers, and I’ll just rest it now and get better and make sure that the next time I fight, I’m 150 percent,” he said.

While he understands the UFC might not be anxious to get him back in the cage as soon as possible, Palelei is open to whatever timetable the promotion has to offer, provided he has time to heal up. He said he needs six to eight weeks to recover from his rib injury, but he welcomes the idea of fighting in December at an event planned to take place in his native Australia.

“I just want to keep fighting and improving,” Palelei said. “I want to apologize to all the fans out there. It’s a thing that you can’t control. It looked sloppy, but no excuses. Next time, I’ll come in better and stronger.”

For complete coverage of UFC 164, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Joe Lauzon says criticism of Jose Aldo's injury 'not warranted'

  • 12 days ago
  • 45 views

Joe Lauzon addressed a common complaint from fans after Jose Aldo’s rib injury forced him out of UFC 189. Lauzon says that Aldo was training exactly as he should have been when he sustained his injur read news >>

UFC 189 Video: Conor McGregor's full 1-hour long open workout

  • 26 days ago
  • 113 views

Watch Conor McGregor put a show on for the fans in a lengthy UFC 189 open workout. read news >>

Video: Highlights of Conor McGregor's hourlong UFC 189 workout

  • 27 days ago
  • 91 views

LAS VEGAS – In his latest workout for the media – and plenty of fans – Conor McGregor once again wasn’t messing around.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Video: Watch Conor McGregor's grand entrance for fans at UFC 189

  • 27 days ago
  • 110 views

LAS VEGAS – If you haven’t learned by now, Conor McGregor likes to make an entrance. And today was no exception.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Tyrone Spong out, Thiago Silva in vs. Mike Kyle at WSOF 22

  • 27 days ago
  • 18 views

An injury has forced a change to a big light heavyweight bout at WSOF 22 on August 1st. World Series of Fighting's 22nd event will take place on the same day as UFC 190, and needs all the starpower p read news >>

UFC Fight Night 71 weigh-ins set for Tuesday in San Diego

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC Fight Night 71 fighter weigh-ins take place Tuesday in San Diego, and fans can attend for free to see fighters from the 12-bout card hit the scales. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Jose Aldo rallies Brazilian fans behind Chad Mendes, tells 'Money' to smash Conor McGregor at UFC 189

  • 27 days ago
  • 359 views

How much does Jose Aldo hate Conor McGregor? Enough to join forces with former featherweight rival Chad Mendes, who took over for the ailing Brazilian in the upcoming UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) main read news >>

The List: MMA's best injury replacements, from 'Bones' to 'The Kimbo Killer'

  • 27 days ago
  • 21 views

As we approach the biggest injury replacement fight of the year, Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes at Saturday’s UFC 189 pay-per-view event, we look at the guys who stepped up on short notice and shocke read news >>

Injury forces Tyrone Spong out of WSOF 22

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

Tyrone Spong's injury woes continue. According to World Series of Fighting executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz, a knee injury has forced Spong (2-0) to withdraw from his Aug. 1 fight against Mike read news >>

Al Iaquinta Off UFC Fight Night 71 Card, Looks to Fix Knee Injury

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Within hours of learning that Gilbert Melendez had failed his UFC 188 drug test, Al Iaquinta bagged hopes of fighting on July 15 in San Diego. read news >>