In mixed martial arts (MMA), like any other contact sport, athletes run the risk of many injuries, whether they are temporary or career-ending. Whether it's a sprained ankle, bruised eyes or broken bones, injuries are a never-ending possibility.
In MMA, injuries happen on a daily basis. But aside from being forced out of a fight because of training too hard in the gym, MMA fighters run the risk of staph infection, due to the fact that they are in constant contact with another competitor. Whether rolling on the floor brushing up on their Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills or upping their wrestling techniques, the risk is always present.
Staph infection can be a brutal reality, as former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal recently discovered with his own, very serious life threatening battle with the illness.
But how bad was it? According to "King Mo," the whole ordeal, including the treatment, was enough to almost throw the towel in on his life.
At least that's what American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)-trained fighter told Sports Illustrated.
Check it out:
"I had this moment where I was like, man, I can see my hip bone. I was ripped still. I had an eight-pack. But there's my hip bone. I looked at my leg, and it looked like those zombies from The Walking Dead. That's how it looks right now. I'm getting to where I can kind of strengthen it, doing leg lifts and stuff. But I looked in the mirror and was like, man, look at me. I didn't know it was that bad until then."
Having had enough, Lawal says that throughout his ordeal, he came close to stop taking his medicine to battle the infection, even if it meant losing his life:
"I got to the point where I was like, [expletive] it. I just felt like, hey, I'm going to quit taking this medicine, and if I die then I die. I'm tired of this stuff."
Now that he seems to be doing better, "King Mo" misses the daily grind of training for a fight and has a new found appreciation for life:
"I feel like I looked death in the face, and I survived. I'm talking death of my career, and death in life. I faced that. It was tough. It really did make me appreciate my life, just my everyday life. I used to think, not that I hated working out, but that I hated feeling tired. Now, I miss feeling tired. I miss getting punched, kicked, kneed, elbowed. I miss all that."
There is no word on when he will return to action, aside from dealing with his health issues, Lawal also has to tend to another important matter at hand -- his positive steroid test (Drostanolone) following his Jan. 7, 2012, technical knockout (TKO) win over Lorenz Larkin at the Strikeforce: "Rockhold vs. Jardine" Showtime event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Given the circumstances, it's safe to say that, though a crucial blow to his fight career, the positive test issues he has with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) may seem like a walk in the park when compared to his recent life-threating health scare.