UFC middleweight CB Dollaway was set to fight Francimar Barroso at UFC 203 in September of 2016 when an elevator he was in at the Wyndham Hotel in Cleveland malfunctioned, causing him permanent damage from a serious back injury.
Dollaway (16-8) spoke with MMA Fighting about being sidelined for the majority of the last 17 months due to this incident, and how he is pursuing a lawsuit against the hotel due to the back injury and the effects suffered, which he says his doctor said are permanent:
“There’s permanent damage. There’s no way to — it’s irreversible, essentially. I could go try to do a surgery or something, but my doctors have been like, ‘Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it,’ because they don’t know how that’s going to turn out. So it just is what it is, you know?”
Dollaway did compete against Ed Herman last July, but back injuries plagued him after that fight. It will have been almost nine months since he’s last stepped in the cage when he fights Hector Lombard at UFC 222 in March.
Dollaway was preparing for a light heavyweight fight when the hotel incident forced him out of UFC 203, but his time spent sidelined with injuries has forced him back to middleweight.
However, the 34-year-old isn’t ruling out another attempt at light heavyweight in the future:
“It just depends if I put the size back on, which, I imagine I will. It’s just going to take a little time. Putting on 10 or 15 pounds of muscle, it’s hard, especially with high cardio and everything we do,” Dollaway said. “But yeah, I fought that fight there (in July) and I just didn’t feel the same as I did before. Like, when I had originally moved up, I felt big, strong, I feel good. Then this time when I went in there, I didn’t feel like myself at that weight, so I was like it’s probably better to go back down to middleweight.
“I just want to make sure I’m healthy. At the end of the day, I’m not going to walk away from this sport with millions and millions of dollars, most likely, so you’ve got to make sure your body’s good when you leave the sport. I’m not going to rush back in and get permanently injured even more, so I’ve got to look out for myself a little bit.
“When you walk away (from the sport), are you going to be able to function? At the end of the day, I want to make sure I can still live a decent life when I’m done with it.”
How do you expect Dollaway to look against Lombard next month? Will the time off due to injuries affect his performance?