Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Luke Barnatt: I Fought With Broken Orbital!

"Do you want to be a f***ing fighter?"- It's the familiarly coarse refrain to which UFC President Dana White likes to subject new recruits to The Ultimate Fighter at least once per series. It may seem to some an improper inquiry of young men, the majority of whom have stepped into the cage as professionals on a dozen or more occasions. However, when one signs the cheques, one can set the parameters, and numerous fighters have had their bravery and dedication called into question by choosing not to fight with a debilitating injury or without requisite preparation.

However, Luke Barnatt- currently home training in Cambridge having completed filming on TUF 17- will have no such fears when it comes to incurring Dana White's displeasure. Speaking exclusively with the Sweep the Leg podcast, the 6' 6" middleweight proclaimed that- far from having suffered a simple black eye in the preliminary triumph over Nicholas Kohring- he had in fact sustained a fractured orbital socket, something he concealed so he could complete the series without a medical suspension:

"I didn't tell anyone this until like after the series because after the series I went to the doctor to get checked out.....and I said, 'Oh, I think I've fractured my orbital. I cant feel below the right to the top of my lip. That part of my face is now numb.' And it was only going to be from that first fight so...... basically, Nick broke my orbital in the first fight."

"I kept it very quiet, I didn't tell anybody, I didn't want to get taken out of the competition for something so petty as a bad eye."

Even in a sport in which valour is a necessity rather than a virtue, the risks the young Englishman took to demonstrate his skills in combat appear remarkable and, whether or not he will be fighting for the series title at the finale, is sure to endear himself to fans and- even more importantly- White himself.

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