UFC lightweight Alan Patrick was forced to withdraw from his matchup against Beneil Dariush at UFC 179 due to a nasty lower jaw injury.
The accident occurred last Thursday during a sparring session at X-Gym in Rio de Janeiro. Patrick spoke with Sherdog.com about the incident.
“I was training and was hit by a knee. I was using a mouthguard, but it hit the bottom of my mouth,” Patrick told Sherdog.com. “I have never been hit by such a knee before. It went right into my chin. Now, I will have to put a titanium plate on my chin. If I wasn’t going to be hit anymore, I wouldn’t have to do it, but as a fighter, I have to be cautious.”
Amazingly, Patrick told Sherdog that he hasn’t explained his situation to the UFC yet, though he hopes to return to the Octagon in 2014.
“I’m sending my exams to the UFC, pictures and everything else. I was so much into fighting in the event. [Rio] and Las Vegas is where all fighters want to fight,” said Patrick. “In about a month, I’ll be able to resume doing cardio, and after another month, I’ll resume with the soft-contact training. I expect to fight in December.”
Patrick’s dentist, Dr. Mariana Barros, also provided a more detailed account of the fighter’s condition as well as the procedure he require to repair the damage.
“It was an incomplete fracture of the jaw, which means only the inside bone, which holds the teeth, has broken,” Barros said. “Immediately, we were able to put it back and contain it, but the next step is to undergo surgery so we can put in a plate and make his bone stronger, so he won’t have any future problems.”
Dr. Barros also weighed in on her perspective for why fighters don’t use double mouthguards — covering both upper and lower teeth — and how such a mouthguard might have caused far more damage to Patrick.
“His personalized mouthguard was essential in Alan’s situation. It could have been a lot worse. He could have had a complete fracture or a maxillary fracture as well. He was lucky to be wearing the mouthguard,” explained Barros. “We don’t recommend the double mouthguard. It potentializes the risk of a complete jaw fracture. That was the least that could have happened to him.”