Nik Lentz has detailed his tough 2020 that almost saw him lose one of his eyes after a tough fight against Arnold Allen in January.

Lentz is now set to return after almost a year out that has involved many uncertain months as he foguht to keep both his eyes.

In an interview with MMA News, Lentz explained that an innocuous eye poke left him with triple vision in his fight with Allen and the problem continued way after the final bell rang.

“I ended up having triple vision,” Nik Lentz said. “From that moment on, it was like four-and-a-half minutes left in the fight, I was fighting three guys. I was just trying to hit the one in the middle, I guess. I didn’t work it out at the time. I never had this happen, but in the fight, I was trying to close the eye, but it turns out it’s really hard to try to close your eye when someone is trying to punch at you. It just automatically opens.”

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“After the fight, I couldn’t even get out of the cage,” Lentz added. “I couldn’t see the steps. I couldn’t see anything. My vision didn’t return to normal for nine months after that until I had surgery.  I went and had to see a series of doctors. No one could really figure out what the problem was. The eye had healed, but I still couldn’t see right. I still had terrible double vision. I went to specialists and specialists and specialists, and finally I found one.”

Lentz thought finding a doctor who knew what was happening would be the end of his troubles. However, it quickly became clear that surgery was needed and the odds of the procedure being successful were only slight.

“(The doctor) pretty much straight-up said, ‘I might be able to help you but there’s a greater chance than half that we could do something and nothing could happen and your eye is just not going to work right,’” Lentz said. “If it hadn’t fixed and I had not (stopped seeing) double, I would’ve had to remove the eye because seeing with one eye is better than seeing double. When they were both together, I had terrible double vision, so I couldn’t do anything. It was a scary nine months. There were a lot of times where this might have been it. This injury might have been my career. It might have been onto the next phase of life.”

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Luckily, Lentz enjoyed a successful surgery. He now has a new found appreciation for fighting after spending the better part of a year thinking he may never compete again.

“It’s been one of the hardest years, but also me and fighting have never been best pals,” Lentz said. “It’s something I’m very good at, but I’m an antisocial person. I never wanted to be in the public light. There were parts of fighting that maybe, in the back of my mind, I always thought I didn’t like it.

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“When it was taken away from me, I sort of had to switch that mindset. I started seeing all the things that I loved about it and the things that it’s given me. Maybe I take it for granted. All my friends are fighters. All my friends are coaches. My entire life has revolved around this sport. This is where I grew up. This is where I became a man. (Since coming back), a certain pressure of the fight world has been lifted.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Do you think Nik Lentz will get back to winning ways against Mike Grundy at UFC Fight Island 7?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.