Three “Huh?” Moments in MMA Last Week: Brainstem Hemorrhages, Bonuses, and Feeder Systems

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Donald Cerrone and Niko Price, UFC Vegas 11
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 19: (L-R) Donald Cerrone punches Niko Price in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

A former Titan FC bantamweight champ is working toward a return following a brainstem hemorrhage last year, the UFC fight night bonus structure is dumb, and combat sports’ feeder systems are in serious trouble. Huh?

Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising anymore, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”

Last week, former Titan FC 135-pound title-holder Rudson Caliocane detailed his long road back to professional MMA after he suffered brainstem hemorrhaging following a fight last October, the UFC fight night bonus structure is under attack, and the global pandemic has drastically altered the future of combat sports. Huh.

The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.

Despite some of the follies of evolution (see: unemployment fraud), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?

Fighter details working toward return after brainstem hemorrhage

About a year after a brainstem hemorrhage derailed former Titan FC bantamweight champion Rudson Caliocane, the 27-year-old Brazilian is working hard toward a return to fighting in 2021. Huh?

“Five doctors condemned me. I would get off bed, lift my leg — that I wasn’t even feeling — and try to walk, but fall on the floor. My father came to help me and I said, ‘Get your hands off me.’ It was a pretty rough moment. Sh*tting my pants, having my farther shower me, my mother feed me. I went to a restaurant a week later to have some barbecue and couldn’t hold a fork. My friend had to cut the meat and give it to me.

“I spent days like that. I would only do things with left hands, like brush my teeth and stuff like that, and [my mother] would say, ‘Eat with your right hand, stimulate your right hand.’ It was rough, but thank god it’s over. I was happy with every little victory I had. I was able to run, to do jumping jacks, to jump ropes. I was stimulating that side of my body because I know that… it’s like a plant, if you water it it will flourish. That’s how I imagined my body.” – Caliocane, via MMA Fighting

Wow. That’s quite the turn from being a title-holder in a solid promotion. It’s great to hear that he’s been making progress. In a year where it’s been hard to have perspective sometimes, a story like this will do the trick.

Whether or not Caliocane returns to fighting remains to be seen. Honestly, while it’s clearly important to him, returning to as close to 100% health as possible is the most important thing. If fighting can be the motivation that gets him there, great. But fighting with a brainstem hemorrhage in your medical history doesn’t seem like the best idea.

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