Dillon Danis hinted at previously having suicidal thoughts while his combat sports career was on hold.
Before becoming a social media personality, Danis was a highly-touted jiu-jitsu practitioner who trained closely with Conor McGregor.
Between April 2018 and June 2019, ‘El Jefe’ established himself as a rising prospect in MMA after securing back-to-back first-round submission wins under the Bellator banner.
Unfortunately, the New Jersey native suffered a severe knee injury that led to two surgeries and a lengthy recovery process.
Now that he’s mentally in a better place, Danis discussed some of his darker days during an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
When asked if he ever thought his fighting career was over, ‘El Jefe’ responded by saying:
“No, but it got to the point that maybe I was never gonna be alive again…There’s a lot of people with a lot more problems than me. You go from f*cking training and being so good, and then just sitting there in a f*cking cast, you can’t move. You don’t know if you’re ever going to be the same.”
Dillon Danis opens up about ‘drinking and doing bad things’ while recovering from injuries
High-level athletes can have their worlds turned upside down when recovering from a severe injury. Instead of sharpening his skills in the gym, Dillon Danis spent over a year struggling to train due to his knee issues, leading to previously mentioned dark times.
During the same interview on The MMA Hour, Danis had this to say about resorting to alcohol while being inactive as a fighter:
“I didn’t realize growing up that jiu-jitsu was like my zen. When I go train, I feel great after. So, then you’re sitting in a bed [while injured], you have nothing to do, and your f*cking leg is stuck like this. Then you get into a dark place. You start drinking, and you start doing bad things.”
On October 14, Dillon Danis has an opportunity to silence the doubters who accuse him of not wanting to fight anymore. The 30-year-old is scheduled to take on Logan Paul in a six-round exhibition boxing match, with an intense rivalry brewing during the buildup.
Paul vs. Danis will take place inside the AO Arena in Manchester, England, as the co-main event of “The Prime Card.” In the main event, KSI and Tommy Fury face off in a six-round legacy-defining matchup.
Watch Dillon Danis’ entire interview with Ariel Helwani below: