With the injury to his wrist, top-ranked prospect, Guram Gugenishvili is not coming to the U.S. on July 8th to defend his belt. Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion’s current and reigning Heavyweight Champion took the time to speak with M-1 Global about exactly what happened, when he expects to back in the gym and his anticipated return to action.
M-1 Global: Having to withdraw from your title defense is devastating to say the least; can you enlighten the fans to the extent of your injury?
Guram Gugenishvili: I was so upset when the doctor said I’d have to cancel the fight. It was more of a freak accident; I was working on a ground punching bag and twisted my wrist a bit – nothing unusual as I’ve had that type of injury before and it used to get better within a few minutes or within a day at least. But this one turned out to be more serious and now there are two cysts, one on the tendon and one on the joint of my index finger.
M-1 Global: 2. Have the doctors given you an estimated recovery time?
Guram Gugenishvili: I’m undergoing treatment right now, which includes shots right into the joints itself; this part of treatment will be over in about 10 days and then followed up with magnetic-laser beams and physio for 2-3 weeks. If all goes well and I don’t need surgery, I should be able to get back to training about a month later. I really REALLY am hoping for a quick recovery.
M-1 Global: What will your focus be on while you can’t train or put stress on the injury? Conditioning, video review etc?
Guram Gugenishvili: Well the video review is already part of my training process and it will certainly continue. Obviously right now I can’t wrestle and strike with the one hand. I can do everything else as long as the injured hand isn’t involved – weight lifting, running, striking techniques with the other hand and both legs.
M-1 Global: Knowing you’re a true competitor, when can fans expect to see you return to action and defend your title? Will it be later this year? Will it still be in the US?
Guram Gugenishvili: I wish I were ‘The Terminator’ and I could fix my own hand like he does in the movie J. If what the doctors say is true, then I will get back to training in 1-2 months and be in ‘fighting shape’ shape by the end August. I truly hope that’s what happens and I’ll be able to defend my belt in the fall. Where and when this takes place is up to the M-1 Global executives. Right now the only thing I’m thinking about is healing my hand and get back to training.
M-1 Global: Are you still looking forward to face Pat Bennett once you are cleared to fight?
Guram Gugenishvili: Absolutely. Bennett wants to come get my belt and I will defend it!
M-1 Global: Obviously you were excited about making your North American debut; do you feel that you have let your fans and country down in any way by having to withdraw?
Guram Gugenishvili: It’s not that I wanted to withdraw; it’s an injury and I have to heal and recover. I’m hoping that the fight is rescheduled as soon as possible. I was so excited about my first American fight and so were all of my fans in Georgia and Ukraine, but what can I do – injuries happen. It only means that my debut will happen later. We all know that to make God laugh you have to tell him about your plans….
M-1 Global: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and countrymen?
Guram Gugenishvili: Please don’t worry about me, I will be fine soon! Thank you so much for your support!
The winner of the 2010 M-1 Selection Eastern European tournament and M-1 Global’s reigning heavyweight champion, Guram has a team supporting him thruogh his recovery and return. The layoff will impede his improvement in his boxing and Muay Thai but the Georgian powerhouse is determined to make a swift recovery and stay on the radar of the global fan base who have taken notice of the sport’s #1 heavyweight prospect.