We all scramble to pull out our plastic folding lawn chairs and break out the popcorn everytime a couple of our favorite fighters show genuine disdain for one another. Our inner dark passenger gets off on the drama and hate filled smack talk in hopes that it will translate to a mind blowing beatdown come fight time. As humans we enjoy a bit of conflict, and as fight fans it is the core of our favorite sport. Physical conflict.
As much as we love a deep-seeded rivalry, we have to admit to having a soft smooshy place inside that is a sucker for romance, friendship, and acts of selfless humanity. Even within the hardcore world of combat sports that we love so dearly-there’s instances of true camaraderie that can tug at our heart strings. There’s such an overabundance of attention given to Sonnen and his Chaelisms or the swagger jacking drama between Evans and Jones, that often times the graceful moments of humanity our favorite fighters display go unnoticed.
This morning when I woke up and started perusing the internet for another wacky, random or controversial story fit for MiddleEasy, I instead came across a beautiful display of selfless camaraderie that I knew you guys could all appreciate. It is a letter originally posted on the UG by Ben Saunders, to Brian Foster. Brian was scheduled to fight in this season’s Bellator welterweight tournament but as of yesterday he was removed from the tournament list due to being denied medical clearance. Medical clearance denials happen for a variety of reasons in this sport some minor, but some are serious.
If you aren’t already familiar with Brian Foster’s story-here’s a little background: Brian fought in the UFC from 2009 until 2011. He fought the likes of Rick Story, Chris Lytle, Brock Larson and Matt Brown. He was scheduled to fight Sean Pierson back in April of 2011 but was forced out of that fight when pre-fight physical tests discovered he had a brain hemmorhage. Brian had successful brain surgery but then suffered another career halting injury, when he was struck in the groin during training and one of his testicles burst. Wow, he has really been through some serious medical issues. Although we don’t know the details of Brian’s medical denial as of yet, there could be some concern necessary here due to Brian’s history.
News of this medical clearance denial prompted fellow Bellator tourny competitor Ben Saunders, to reach out to Brian Foster and write him a moving letter of concern and support. It’s a heartwarming read and shows a gentler side to combat sports that we normally don’t get to see first hand.
I don’t know much about the details… But I told u this after u followed me on Twitter. U are a hell of a fighter and very exciting to watch. I was and still am a fan my friend. I did an interview with Bloody Elbow today and when asked about the other competitors in this Seasons tournament. Ur name was one of the first who I mentioned that I respected. They were the first to inform me of the bad news… Explaining how u were no longer in the tournament do to the Mohegan Sun not giving u medical clearance to fight. I’m sure u put a lot of work in ur training camp leading up to this fight and I’m sorry to hear this.
Like I said I don’t know The details of why u weren’t medically cleared for ur bout this coming week. But I am definitely pulling for you man.
I have had some close calls throughout my career of injuries that could have easily gone very very wrong and been potential Career Enders. I have been very fortunate that they never reached that point and knock on wood… I’ve never had to go under the knife or have surgery in my entire life.
But these close calls always had me take a step back and evaluate my life. The “What If’s” are endless. I know how much time, spirit, love, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears I have put into this game. To think how it would feel to have it all taken away from me is more depressing than words or emotions could ever describe. To be honest I don’t think my brain and thought process could even comprehend it in any way at all. But since I began this journey I have always been aware of the dark side and worst case scenarios. Never allowing myself to be blind to the reality of what is always possible whether I like it or not.
At the end of the day man… I just want to say I’m sorry for everything u might be going through. I feel ur pain even though I may not be living it. I believe almost any fighter in this world could and should sit back and be grateful for what they have and what they have done and are able to still do.
I hope things aren’t that serious and I hope ur able to get things cleared up and get back to smashing fools faces in and entertaining all us fans.
Best Wishes-Killa B
Props to Ben Saunders for being a class act and our thoughts are with you Brian Foster. [source]