After fighters step inside the cage to do battle, athletic commission review their physical well-being and determine if they need to receive a medical suspension.
Sometimes, though, the best doctor for a fighter can be themselves.
Joe Lauzon, a veteran of 41 career fights, believes his decision to sit on the sidelines for an extended period is what will keep him fighting into the future. Lauzon (27-14) returns to action at UFC 223 against Chris Gruetzemacher.
“I didn’t do anything for a month-and-a-half, two months almost,” said Lauzon, who was handed a 45-day medical suspension by the Virginia commission after a knockout loss to Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120 in November, during a recent appearance on MMAjunkie Radio. “I worked out with Calvin Kattar and Rob Font a couple of times. It was king of lighter sparring, so I get hit a little but – but not hard. But I didn’t do anything – no getting hit in the hard at all. That was a big thing. And rest.”
Lauzon, who has started to look to the future once he does give up fighting full-time, believes his fellow fighters ignore one key area in their recovery from action.
“Resting is so overlooked by guys,” he said. “I hear about guys all the time, whether they’re in the UFC or trying to get to the UFC or whatever, they get knocked out in the gym, or they go down really, really hard. And then a week later, or a couple days later, or the next round, they’re back in there. I think that’s so irresponsible. They have to take better care of themselves.
Lauzon and Gruetzemacher hit the Octagon on April 7 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Would more fighters lengthen their careers if they followed this same advice and took more time between training?