UFC champ Brock Lesnar slams Canadian health care but ready to fight this summer

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar announced his "miracle" recovery from a career-threatening digestive disease Wednesday while slamming the health care he received in Canada after falling sick during a hunting trip.
Lesnar said his U.S. doctors were "dumbfounded" at his success in beating diverticulosis and avoiding major surgery to remove part of his colon.
"They couldn't find any signs of any problem in my stomach. It's just a miracle," the mixed martial arts star said Wednesday on ESPN's SportsCenter in his first interview since falling ill.
UFC president Dana White said Lesnar, who has not fought since July, will be back in action this summer against the winner of the UFC 111 bout in March between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin.
The six-foot-four Lesnar, who has to cut weight to make the UFC heavyweight limit of 265 pounds, said he had been ailing for some time last year, before falling seriously ill during a trip to Canada. What had started as flu-like symptoms was upgraded to mononucleosis and then diverticulosis.
Asked about the low point during the last few months of his illness, Lesnar said: "Probably the lowest moment was getting care from Canada."
"They couldn't do nothing for me," he noted in a later media conference call Wednesday. "It was like I was in a Third World country."
"I'm just stating the facts here and that's the facts," he continued. "I love Canada. I own property in Canada but if I had to choose between getting care in Canada or the United States, I definitely want to be in the United States. Canadians, don't get me wrong here. Listen I love Canada, some of the best people and best hunting in the world. I have family up there. But I wasn't at the right facility. And it makes sense for me to say that."
Lesnar, who makes his home in Minnesota, refused to say where he was treated in Canada although he talked of his wife driving him "in excruciating pain" to the border.
"I knew that I had to get out of there. And my wife saved my life. She got me out of there and drove 100 miles an hour to get me down to Bismarck, North Dakota, to Medcenter One (hospital) and got me with Dr. (Brent) Buderer and his staff, and that doctor there saved my career and saved my life."
At hospital in Bismarck, Lesnar said he was immediately diagnosed with a severe case of diverticulosis. "I had a hole in my stomach."
Doctors put him on antibiotics and pain medication, while suggesting surgery was likely the final option. Lesnar spent the next 11 days there. "No food, no water, fed intravenously. Lost 40 pounds."
He underwent a small procedure, having a six-inch needle inserted into his stomach to drain three pockets and withdraw 14 cubic centimetres of fluid.
The next morning, he decided to go home, with his doctor saying he wanted him back in three months for surgery once some swelling had subsided. The next week he visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for a second opinion. Doctors there also recommended surgery.
"I didn't want to (have surgery), if I could beat the odds, I was going to do everything in my power to do that," said Lesnar, adding he would probably have had to retire if the surgery was unavoidable.
He went home, hit the gym, put some 30 pounds back on and returned to the doctor Jan. 5. Tests gave him a clean bill of health.
"Basically the doctor said you've got a lottery ticket, this is unbelievable. We can't believe you didn't need surgery," said White.
Lesnar said a "total protein" diet with not enough fibre contributed to his health problems.
"I'm a carnivore, I'm not a big an of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). I'm a member of the NRA (National Rifle Association) and whatever I kill, I eat. Basically I was for years surviving on meat and potatoes. When the greens came by, I just kept passing them."
He said he revamped his diet, prayed a lot and used some "natural healing medicine."
Lesnar recalled the night in Canada when he believes the perforation in his stomach happened.
"I woke up in shock, in cold sweat. I mean it was big time," he said. "Didn't know where I was and realized I had to seek medical help."
He said he was two and a half to three hours "from what I thought would be a good medical facility."
But he refused to say where, saying: "I'm not going to disclose anything."
"The only reason I'm mentioning this is I'm mentioning this to the United States of America because President Obama is pushing this health-care reform. And obviously I don't want it. I'm a conservative Republican . . . I'm speaking on behalf of Americans, I'm speaking on behalf of our doctors in the United States that don't want this to happen and neither do I."
"The main thing is I'm sitting here, I'm healthy, and I got the right care that I needed," he added. "I think it was just under the circumstance the hospital that I was at, it wasn't their fault. They had some machinery that wasn't working that couldn't do its job. And I needed to have it done. So we went to where we could have it done."
Lesnar backtracked slightly later in the call, saying as an American he just wanted to be treated at home.
"I'm not bashing the Canadian health care, I'm not bashing it at all. I'm a U.S. citizen,. It just so happens I was in Canada. If I would have been in Thailand or Puerto Rico, I would want to get back to the United States, in my homeland, to get my health care."
Lesnar, a former NCAA wrestling champion and pro wrestling star, has not fought since defeating former champion Mir at UFC 100. He said he fell ill during preparations to defend his title against the unbeaten Carwin on Nov. 21 at UFC 106 in Las Vegas.
"I was just feeling sick, for the longest time throughout my training camp preparing for Carwin," he told ESPN. "My camp wasn't going well. I missed almost three weeks of training camp. . . I kept going to the doctor, couldn't find out what the problem was."
Finally he decided to pull the plug on the fight.
The seriousness of Lesnar's medical condition was revealed by White after UFC 105 on Nov. 14 in Manchester, England. White said Lesnar had collapsed while on holiday in Canada.
Lesnar (4-1) is one of mixed martial arts' biggest draws, a raw but impressive talent in the cage who cares little what others think about him.
White said if the Mir-Carwin winner gets injured, Lesnar could meet either Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Cain Velasquez, who face off next month at UFC 110 in Australia.
"I'm getting ready for anybody and everybody," Lesnar said.
Lesnar said he was as low as 248 pounds but now weighs 273 pounds and is looking forward to defending his title.
"Let's be clear with that. I still am the UFC heavyweight champion," Lesnar told ESPN.

Organizations: ESPN, National Rifle Association, Mayo Clinic People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals NCAA UFC 100

Geographic location: Canada, United States of America, Minnesota Bismarck, North Dakota Bismarck Rochester, Minn. Thailand Puerto Rico Las Vegas Manchester England Australia

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