At only 29-years of age, some might wonder why Denis is walking away so young , with fights still remaining on his UFC contract.
Well as the former biochemistry major explains it, after doing a lot of research into brain injuries and concussions, Denis decided to stop risking his own health in training and fights and walk away while he still could.
“After my first loss, a devastating knockout where Marlon Sandro dribbled my head on the canvas like a basketball, I did lots of research on concussions. As a graduate student at the university of Ottawa, I had access to all peer reviewed scientific journals. No surprise to find that concussions = bad. However, I found something that had never occurred to me. Sub-concussive trauma. Basically, a blow to the head that doesn’t lead to a concussion. When it happens, you feel fine, and continue on. Maybe you feel like you just had a little brain scramble, nothing big,” Denis described in his blog.
“Those who spar, know what I am talking about. However these add up. They accumulate, from training session to training session, year after year. The research papers found that men who never had an actual concussion, rather only sub-concussive trauma, (they used football/hockey players) when brain scans were administered to them (can’t remember if it was MRI or CT), their brain morphology was decayed like that of individuals with later stages of neurodegenerative disorders.”
Denis goes onto say that he promised himself if he experienced one more concussion that he would retire, and as certain damage continued to mount, he couldn’t ignore the warning signs any longer.
“In the last couple years, and especially in the last few months leading up to my May 5th fight, while sparring I would notice that when I got hit, it would affect me more and more. When I first started sparring I would run through punches unaffected. Not only that, but now training at Tristar, I am literally training with the worlds best. We are all training at the highest level, all for the same reasons. Could I fight in the UFC, against the best fighters in our solar system, literally trained killers, without sparring in training? Not really, so what was I to do? I have made the decision to retire,” explained Denis.
During his brief UFC career, Denis went 1-1 with a stunning first round knockout in his debut over Joseph Sandoval, and now walks away from the sport to focus on his health and other endeavors.
Watch the UFC 216 video preview with two title fights on tap! Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee tops the card, while Demetrious Johnson attempts to make history. read news >>
Check out 40 facts, figures and footnotes about UFC Fight Night 117, which features an Ovince Saint Preux vs. Yushin Okami main event.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Three out of the five fights in UFC history won by Von Flue choke have come from Ovince Saint Preux, so it's time to rename the move. read news >>
I come before you today not to sell snake oil. UFC Fight Night 117 is not a good card. The card, which happens from the venerated Saitama Super Arena in Japan and airs Friday night in the United Stat read news >>
Lauren Murphy, a former Invicta FC bantamweight champion with four UFC fights to her name, didn’t feel like an MMA veteran earlier this year. Then she joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter and ever read news >>
The UFC hosts a rare Friday card with UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan. It’s not the most stacked lineup, but a few unheralded fighters have a chance to shine.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
In the main event of UFC 216 on Oct. 7, Kevin Lee steps into the Octagon for the biggest fight of his career when he faces Tony Ferguson for the interim UFC lightweight title. In the meantime, we tak read news >>
UFC 216: Ferguson vs. Lee features two title fights, and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has history on line in the fight card's co-main event. read news >>
On the fence about UFC 216? Here are 10 reasons to tune into the pay-per-view event, which features a pair of title fights.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Check out all the fighter walkout songs from Saturday’s UFC 216 event.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>