UFC Vegas 53: Mike Breeden Reveals He Had Emergency Surgery Weeks Out From DWCS

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Mike Breeden, UFC Vegas 53
Mike Breeden, UFC Vegas 53 weigh-in Credit: Dave Noseworthy/Cageside Press

Mike Breeden’s UFC debut came on just about a week’s notice, and while it didn’t go his way, it did get the lightweight’s foot in the door with the promotion.

The phone call last autumn came as Breeden (10-4) was eating birthday cake, celebrating his son’s big day. “I get the phone call, and they’re like ‘whatever you’re doing, stop what you’re doing, and start waterloading and stuff.’ I literally put the fork down and quit eating cake, and started getting focused for it. It was a great birthday present for my son, but it was quite a ride.”

Quite a ride, but one that saw Breeden finished by Alexander Hernandez. “This time around, I got ten weeks to prepare, so it’s a lot different circumstances,” he told The Top Turtle Podcast on Cageside Press recently.

Working with James Krause at Glory MMA and Fitness, Breeden feels like he’s going to look much different this time out.

“I feel great, I feel explosive, strong, fast. Everything’s just clicking on all cylinders. I’m always training, but that last fight, I didn’t have time to prepare for him,” Breeden explained. “I’m running now— when I get booked for a fight I start running a lot so I stay lighter on my feet; that last fight I got a little flat-footed. But I’m just all-around sharper. The game plan is definitely going to help, going into a fight with a game plan and being able to prepare for that.”

All that said, Mike Breeden’s UFC debut was not the first time in recent memory that he’s taken a short-notice fight. In fact, it’s a regular occurrence. “Close to two years, this is the first time I get a camp. All my last four fights have been on short notice, week’s notice, week and a half notice, and [I’m] still getting the job done besides the last one. Well the Contender Series fight I didn’t get my hand raised in that one, but I booked the fight seven weeks out then went and had surgery the next day.”

That’s likely to give a lot of fight fans pause. Surgery the day after booking the fight? Breeden explained that “I had emergency surgery, had a bunch of lesions in my gut, internal bleeding, and I had like three weeks to get ready for that. Light training.”

No wonder his Contender Series bout didn’t go his way. As for the Natan Levy match-up at UFC Vegas 53, “this will be my first camp in almost two years.”

“It’s real nice,” he added.

Mike Breeden faces Natan Levy at UFC Vegas 53 this Saturday, April 30, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out the full interview with Breeden on The Top Turtle Podcast below.

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