On Thursday, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum he may have suffered prior to his most recent title defense.
Johnson (17-2-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) on Monday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that his shoulder hurt prior to a fight with John Dodson (12-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at this past month’s UFC on FOX 6, where he defended his belt via decision.
When he began training for his next bout, which was scheduled for The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale opposite John Moraga, the injury again flared up.
“Injuries seem to be a part of my career,” said Johnson, who was forced to withdraw from a headliner at the April 13 event in Las Vegas. Ex-WEC champ and current bantamweight contender Urijah Faber takes the spot against Scott Jorgensen.
Johnson said the shoulder specialist who diagnosed him with his injury also spotted a previous labrum tear that had healed.
“Labrums are something people tear all the time and they go their whole lives with a torn labrum,” he said. “Mine had torn once before. It healed on its own and I re-tore it.”
Johnson anticipates wearing a sling for four or five days after the surgery, but didn’t offer a timetable when he’d be ready to fight again. He’s heard Moraga will wait until he’s healthy.
“I’ll be rehabbing it and getting ready, so that’s all I know,” Johnson said. “But anything could change.”
A recent training session at his gym was the catalyst for an MRI that revealed the extent of the injury.
“I was working out and I pulled down on a rope and I couldn’t pull down,” Johnson said. “I had excruciating pain in my right shoulder, and I was like, ‘I can’t do this, Matt.’ I jump on a different machine and he was like, ‘You need to get an MRI.’
“I told him I didn’t want to get one because I wanted to push through. I knew something was wrong.”
Johnson famously soldiered through a broken leg when he fought Miguel Torres at UFC 130, and once suffered a broken hand that kept him out of action for six months.
“I’m young, and I want to be super active regardless of whether I’m the champion or not,” he said. “But injuries come with the sport. Luckily, I have a great support system with my wife and coaches.”
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