UFC Vet Nick Ring Talks Return After “Long, Hard Recovery” From Fifth Knee Surgery
By Kelsey Mowatt
While some fighters will never know what it takes to return from knee surgery, Nick Ring is more than familiar with the struggles involved, as the UFC vet continues to recover from his fifth to date.
If you’ve been wondering why you haven’t seen Ring throw down thus far in 2014, it’s because the middleweight injured his knee once again, when he battled Caio Magalhaes last December. The 35 year-old fighter underwent surgery for the injury in January, and as Ring relayed on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, the damage was extensive.
“In the middle of my last fight, I actually blew my ACL and tore a meniscus in my knee,” said Ring, while discussing the injury he incurred in his Fight Night bout Magalhaes. “So after I left Australia and I came back to Canada, got knee surgery in January…I’m about two weeks into my martial arts training right now at this point.”
“It was a long, hard recovery process,” the Calgary resident furthered. “I was literally, because of the meniscus surgery that they did on me, I was on crutches for literally six weeks. I couldn’t put weight on my leg or anything. It was bad. I took three months off working out altogether and lost all my muscle. It was pretty sad, but I’m back in the gym and feeling pretty good about that…I’ll be back.”
According to Ring, the injury had a substantial impact on his performance versus Magalhaes, who took the bout via unanimous decision.
“That was really hard,” Ring recalled. “I remember when it happened, and after it happened, I could feel my leg wobbling underneath me. I didn’t want it to turn into some sort of TKO situation, so I had to keep it on the ground whenever I could, and not get lured into any more striking, because it was really, really bad. Trying to balance on that thing is impossible.”
For some fighters, having to go this long without competing would be extremely hard financially, but thankfully for Ring, he had other income streams to rely on.
“Obviously, you’re a MMA fighter, we don’t make a lot of money or anything, but I am smart with the money I do make,” said Ring. “I have some investments on the side, I guess, if you want to say that. I study a lot about money and I do real estate on the side, with rental properties, and this and that.”
“You have to be creative about how you finance this lifestyle, and I love my lifestyle,” furthered Ring, who has gone 3-3 in the UFC to date. “I love being an athlete, being in shape, going into competitions, and how do you do this and make it work? You have to get creative. Everybody’s situation is different from each other, and I’ve found a way how to carve this out, where I can do what I love, and basically not take a nine-to-five job.”
While Ring (13-3) isn’t exactly sure at this juncture when he’ll be ready to fight again, it looks as though 2014 could end without seeing him compete.
“The knee surgeon doesn’t want me fighting again until next January, like MMA or anything” Ring relayed. “But I could probably push it; I don’t listen to doctors anyways…I don’t know yet. Again, it’s just been two weeks of training; I haven’t done anything crazy either. I really haven’t sparred. At this point I’ve just started to hit the bag, and just started to get some movement. I’m still testing the knee out.”
“I cannot wait to get back,” Ring added. “I love what I do; I can’t wait to be back into competition, just getting back to my skills and testing them out. I can’t wait for this. I honestly can’t.”