UFC lightweight Drakkar Klose has been out of action for a little over two years now. He was supposed to fight veteran Jeremy Stephens in April 2021, but a sudden injury during the weigh-ins forced him out of the bout.
All of it stemmed from a hard shove from “Li’l Heathen” during their face-off, resulting in both a concussion and neck sprain on the 34-year-old Klose. Now a year removed from the incident, Klose tells BJPenn.com’s Just Scrap Radio that he has not made a full recovery. And according to him, he also considered hanging up his gloves.
“I mean, the damage was done, I’m still not 100 percent from that,” he said. “It’s something I will probably need surgery on eventually.
“I told myself if I have to get surgery, I’m just going to call it quits. Just trying to manage it and do the therapy and all that…”
Klose says the resulting pains he felt were debilitating enough for him to contemplate retirement.
“I did think that was going to be the end of me,” he said. “I was having really bad headaches, dealing with my neck issue, it is something serious. When I saw my doctor he talked about fusing my neck and I didn’t want to hear that.
“I want to go out on my terms, I don’t want to go out with the doctor telling me I can’t do this… It was a herniated disc, C6, C7. As soon as it happened, my whole arm went numb, and later that night, things weren’t right. And I woke up and couldn’t open my eyes, (had) a real bad headache.
“There is a lot of other stuff that I will probably say when I’m done fighting but they pay me so I will keep my mouth shut.”
The UFC did compensate Klose for the canceled bout. But for him, it wasn’t enough.
“They ended up giving me my show money but they never said anything to me. To me, it’s kind of ridiculous, he really f–ked me up. I remember driving home from that fight and I was crying,
“I don’t know why I was crying but my head was so messed up. It’s a business for them, they don’t care, it’s all numbers for them, when I’m gone someone else will be in my spot.”
Klose last fought at UFC 248 in March 2020 against Beneil Dariush, right before the pandemic lockdowns hit. He lost via second-round knockout as he holds a record of 11-2-1.
Stephens, meanwhile, got to fight Mateusz Gamrot three months after his supposed booking against Klose. He lost first-round submission to drop to a record of 28-19 (1 NC). He opted not to re-sign with the UFC and instead inked a deal with PFL in January.
Drakkar Klose vs. Brandon Jenkins takes place Saturday, April 16th at UFC Vegas 51.
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