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‘Damaged’ Drakkar Klose still reeling from Jeremey Stephens shove, UFC apathy — ‘They don’t care’

Klose was dehydrated, defenseless, and playing it by the book, not expecting the “protect yourself at all times” rule to extend to fighter face offs.

UFC Fight Night Whittaker v Gastelum: Weigh-Ins Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight veteran Drakkar Klose was ruled medically unfit to compete after suffering whiplash during his UFC Vegas 24 co-main event staredown last year in “Sin City,” thanks to a violent shove from Jeremy Stephens that resulted in a concussion.

One that continues to cause problems for Klose nearly one year later.

“The damage was done, I’m still not 100 percent from that. It’s something I will probably need surgery on eventually,” Klose told Just Scrap Radio. “I told myself if I have to get surgery, I’m just going to call it quits. Just trying to manage it and do the therapy and all that. I did think that was going to be the end of me. I was having really bad headaches, dealing with my neck issue, it is something serious. When I saw my doctor he talked about fusing my neck and I didn’t want to hear that. I want to go out on my terms, I don’t want to go out with the doctor telling me I can’t do this. It was a herniated disc, C6, C7, as soon as it happened my whole arm went numb, and later that night, things weren’t right and I woke up couldn’t open my eyes, a real bad headache.”

UFC later amended its staredown policy to punish fighters for contact.

Klose, who turned 34 just a few weeks back, was largely unimpressed with how the promotion handled his injuries in the wake of his “Lil’ Heathen” shove. He was eventually paid his “show” purse for showing up on weight and ready to fight, but once that check was cashed it was out of sight, out of mind.

“There is a lot of other stuff that I will probably say when I’m done fighting but they pay me so I will keep my mouth shut,” Klose continued. “They ended up giving me my show money but they never said anything to me. To me, it’s kind of ridiculous, he really fucked me up. I remember driving home from that fight and I was crying, I don’t know why I was crying but my head was so messed up. It’s a business for them, they don’t care it’s all numbers for them, when I’m gone someone else will be in my spot.”

That’s the nature of the business, for better or worse (just ask this former champ).

The 11-2 Klose has not seen action since getting two-handed into another dimension (watch the replay here) but is expected to make his Octagon return opposite well-traveled lightweight bruiser Brandon Jenkins as part of the upcoming UFC Vegas 51 fight card on Sat. night (April 16) at APEX.

To see that entire ESPN-televised lineup click here.