Former K-1 and Glory Kickboxing standout Mark Miller has had a few wars during his fight career, but perhaps his biggest and toughest opponent has come in the form of chronic illness.
Speaking about his extensive medical problems on the Anik and Florian podcast, "Fightshark" revealed that the organ problems that chased him from the sport of kickboxing eight years ago are back in force. Miller is currently suffering from triple organ failure due to a mix of genetic and previous complications that will require surgical transplants to save his life.
Those who have followed the body of work of the 39-year-old know how disappointing it is for a man who wants nothing more than to get back into the ring.
"That's been a pretty tough one to swallow," Miller said. "So now I have to get transplants and dialysis four hours a day, three times a week."
Miller (14-8-2) has battled against such decorated strikers as Sergei Kharitonov and Koichi Pettas, although those losses occurred following his illnesses. On the podcast, Fightshark said he owns two knockouts of eight seconds and nine seconds, respectively.
The troubles really began back in 2006 just as he was set to compete in a bout for the S-1 Muay Thai promotion in Miami, Florida. Feeling sick, Miller went to a doctor and was diagnosed with bronchitis, which developed into full-blown pneumonia. Due to fluid build up around his lungs he developed kidney and heart failure requiring surgery.
After being cleared in January, 2007, to start training again, the Pittsburgh native set his eyes on competing in the UFC and began training at American Kickboxing Academy. But his father fell ill in February and died just two months later. Five weeks after that his mother passed away and then in another three months his brother died of a drug overdose.
The entire ordeal is documented in his 2014 book, "Pain Don't Hurt: Fighting Inside And Outside The Ring."
Despite yet another health setback, Miller said fighting has actually helped him mentally prepare for all the hardship in his life.
"I could be really bitter. I mean, there are times I could sit there and go, c'mon you gotta be kidding. But I think I'm able to get through all of that because of the things that have happened in my life previously.
"I basically deal with my prep and in dealing with the transplants and the sickness as I did a fight. You know, I've got to rest right, I've got to eat properly."
Miller is back in the gym training clients in kickboxing and will be starting a seminar tour July 18, 2015, in Pittsburgh, Pa., as well as an August session in New York at Renzo Gracie's Fight Academy. For updates on the where and when you can reach the Fightshark on Twitter.