Bellator’s Dave Jansen Plans to “Put Everything Into” Recovery After ACL Surgery
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Dave Jansen has won six straight fights since he arrived in Bellator in 2011, and in doing so, has established himself as an elite lightweight, the veteran is having a tough time right now focusing on his accomplishments. The reason being, of course, that Jansen was recently forced to withdraw from a title fight with champion Michael Chandler, after tearing his ACL.
“It’s pretty disheartening to pull out,” Jansen told Full Contact Fighter recently. “I’ve actually never pulled out of a fight before. You’ve got to have two functioning legs and I tore my ACL all the way through, and there’s some meniscus damage too, and I actually went in and got it reconstructed last Thursday. I just have to get back on the road to recovery. Be 100% in the future.”
Jansen submitted Magomed Saadulaev, and then worked to decision wins over Ricardo Tirloni and most recently Marcin Held, to win Bellator’s Seventh Season lightweight tournament. So, although Jansen is understandably heartbroken about the recent setback, there are some positives to draw from.
“There’s got to be a silver lining at the end of it,” said Jansen, when asked if he can at least draw from his recent run as a source of comfort. “It’s hard for me to expect how the recovery’s going to go, but I’m going to put everything into it, the rehab.”
After having multifight campaigns every year since he started fighting professionally in 2007, Jansen will compete only once in 2013 (his decision win over Held took place at Bellator 93 in March). Although the surgery appears to have been successful, Jansen will likely need between six and nine months to recover from the procedure.
“That’s kind of what I’ve hear,” the 33 year-old said. “I’m going back Thursday for a follow up. I’ve got pictures, and it looks good, as far as the arthroscopic images before and after. My surgeon is really good at what he does. He’s worked on a lot of football players and professional athletes, so I’m confident he did a good job. It’s hard to say exactly what the rehab will be like, but 6 to 9 months is what I’m anticipating.”
As a result of Jansen’s injury, David Rickels was tapped to fight Chandler on July 31st, who won Bellator’s eighth season tournament. According to Jansen, when he is set to return, Bellator has assured him he’ll still get the title shot he secured by winning the Season Seven competition.
“That’s what they say,” said Jansen. “It will be a tough fight to come right back into, after an injury like this, but I feel good about it, after I’m fully recovered, and have that drive and determination renewed all over again. Adversity is supposed to make you stronger.”
“I wouldn’t have a problem fighting for the title first fight back,” Jansen noted, when asked if he’d prefer to take a non-title fight first. “It’s why I’m doing this; get that belt.”
You can hear the entire interview with Jansen on this week’s edition of Full Contact Fighter Radio.