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Monday, Nov 22, 2004

Maladied Mezger Awaits Medical Diagnosis

Originally run in the November 2004 issue of FCF:

Maladied Mezger Awaits Medical Diagnosis
By Loretta Hunt

Guy Mezger
"The stories of my health have been greatly exaggerated," Guy Mezger says with a lighthearted chuckle. It’s been a few weeks since the Lion’s Den fighter had to drop from his rubber match with Tito Ortiz, a bout that was scheduled as the main event for October 22nd’s UFC 50, and caused a major last-minute reshuffling of the card. Mezger had also intended this fight to be the last of a healthy 30-13-2 career that began with UFC 4 and spanned appearances in Japan’s Pride and Pancrase promotions.

While doctors have thrown around terms like "a small stroke" and "stroke-like symptoms," a battery of tests have still not identified Mezger’s ailments. What is known is that when Mezger woke up the morning of October 11th, trainer and friend Ken Shamrock insisted something wasn’t right. Shamrock noted slurred speech and an uneven equilibrium. Mezger says he was over-exhausted from poor sleep and a harder-than-usual training session the day before.

Shamrock persisted and took Mezger to a local hospital, where the symptoms could not be connected to a malady. A routine MRI, however, revealed irregularities in the vein patterns of Mezger’s frontal brain lobe that cause weaknesses along its walls. Referred to as a "Silent Killer" in medical circles, the symptoms Shamrock saw were completely coincidental, but were "a strange blessing in disguise," says Mezger. If he had fought Ortiz, doctors say a blow to Mezger’s head could have been highly detrimental.

Although nothing has been deemed 100% conclusive, Mezger says the proposed condition is a hereditary one for his family, and is trying to take the news in stride. "It’s just more hurry up and wait," says Mezger, whose earlier symptoms have subsided. The vivacious fighter has not had to stop any of his day-to-day activities, which includes his training, although doctors have asked him to pare it down for the time being. "So far, they’ve reassured me I’m going to be okay, but it’s been the most frustrating fucking thing."

"If my brain was gonna blow up, I wish it would have been in week one or two [of training]. I was really looking forward to that fight," Mezger adds, noting that his loss to Ortiz at UFC 19 was one that never sat well with him. "Even if I get a clean bill of health, the UFC may never put that fight together again."

Still awaiting test results, Mezger will have other projects to turn his attention to in the meantime. His wife is expecting their second child in March, while Mezger’s reality television show "Badass" (formerly "American Badass") is making strides of its own.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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