MFC’s Graham Spencer “Can’t Wait to Get Back” After Delayed Shoulder Surgery
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although it didn’t take long for Graham Spencer to make his presence felt in the Maximum Fighting Championship, due to a serious injury, over 18 months will likely have gone by before he competes for the organization again.
Prior to Spencer’s submission win over Mukai Maromo last February, which saw the 10-1 fighter secure the MFC lightweight title, the Canadian was aware that something was wrong with his shoulder. Soon after the important victory, however, the 30 year-old Spencer discovered just how serious the issue was.
“Originally they thought that it was just a separated shoulder, so I did the rehab for that, which was almost two months,” Spencer relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently. “My shoulder didn’t get better so I just went and paid for my own MRI. Here in Canada it’s free healthcare but you have to wait for everything, and I was going to have to wait a few months, so I went and paid for it myself.”
“That’s when they found the tear,” noted Spencer, while recalling the events prior to the surgery he underwent to repair a torn labrum. “Then I had to wait another few more months to get in for surgery. It’s been a long process. I can’t wait to get back to 100% training and being able to fight again.”
As Spencer noted, Canada has a public healthcare system, but depending on a person’s medical situation and circumstances, treatment can be delayed.
“If I had would have got the surgery right away, like right after my last fight, I would be back in there already,” said Spencer. “It kind of sucks I had to wait but it is nice that I didn’t have to pay…my surgeon said it would have probably been about $10,000.”
“Looking back on it, I think I probably would have paid for it right away,” Spencer furthered. “Part of it was just that they didn’t diagnose me correctly at the start, so I was waiting anyway…Once I got into see the surgeon he got me in pretty fast. It was just getting into see him took a while, but he got me in, pretty much in three or four months after I talked to him…some surgeons I was talking to their wait lists were like 18 months up to two years, so I can’t complain too much.”
One can understand why Spencer is eager to get back into the ring, however, as this setback came at a time when the Nanaimo fighter was starting to make headlines. Prior to facing Maromo at MFC 36, Spencer worked his way to a unanimous decision win over UFC vet Shane Nelson in October, 2012.
“Fighting for the MFC has been life changing for me,” said Spencer, who vacated the promotion’s lightweight title and plans to return at featherweight. “Just the amount of exposure I’ve been getting. I was fighting a lot out on the west coast before, and the west coast doesn’t get as much attention as the east…as soon as I got to the MFC everyones been talking about me, I’ve been doing lots of interviews and magazines.”
So when does the Nanaimo, British Columbia fighter hope to return to the MFC ring?
“I’m aiming for their show in October,” said Spencer, who is also an electrician by trade. “I don’t want to set anything in stone; just going to play it by ear and see how I feel. I’m going to have to go back to work for a few months, so that may set me back a little, but I’m aiming for October.”