The fight is Brady’s first in eight months. He was scheduled to fight in July, and then was rebooked for August, but pulled out due to a health scare that almost caused him to lose his foot. After he suffered a small cut in training, Brady (14-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) contracted an infection that turned serious.
“I’m just super happy to be here,” Brady told MMA Junkie at a pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “Cutting weight and everything always sucks, but I’m enjoying every single part of this. My entire training camp, I enjoyed every single session, everything about it, every run. I was just super grateful to be back. There was a point I was in the hospital. I couldn’t walk. I thought I was going to lose my foot. Me, my fiancee, my mom, we were pretty scared. Luckily, everything worked out and I’m just super fortunate to be here and I’m excited.”
Brady, 28, is used to fighting being his main focus. But with the set of circumstances that presented themselves, he had to zone in on his health and make it a priority. It was both painful and stressful as he dealt with the situation, but ultimately he persevered.
“At that point, I was honestly like, ‘F*ck the fight. F*ck fighting. I’m going to lose my foot. I’m never going to be able to walk.’ I literally couldn’t get out,” Brady said. “I was in the hospital for a week. Every time I’d stand up, the pain I would feel was excruciating. I couldn’t walk. I was more concerned about that. Obviously, I’m just laying there. I’m already somewhat super grateful for what I do.
“I’m just like, ‘Man, I can’t wait to get back in the gym. All I want to do is train. All I want to do is run.’ Even for a little bit after that, I had a pick line in my arm, so it took me a little. I wasn’t allowed to do too much. … When my fiancee wasn’t home, I was crushing workouts on (my bike). Because I wasn’t supposed to be sweating or anything. I was like, ‘F*ck it. I’ve got to work out.’ Yeah, man, I’m happy. I’m happy to be here.”
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Not only is Brady back, what he views as the biggest opportunity of his career is in front of him. He’ll serve as one-half of the co-main event when he battles top contender Michael Chiesa (18-5 MMA, 11-5 UFC) in a three-round welterweight fight.
“I’ve been watching Chiesa forever,” Brady said. “It’s super cool to be able to be here and know I’m going to fight him. I’m super excited to show my skills vs. his. … Once he moved up to 170 and I saw after he beat Neil (Magny) and he beat RDA (Rafael dos Anjos), I was like, ‘Damn, he’s going to be a player at 170. This is definitely a guy I’d like to test myself (against).’ … When they came with the name, we were all over it.”
The welterweight division currently has a who’s who of notable names at the top. From champion Kamaru Usman, to contenders Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, and Jorge Masvidal, to rising star Khamzat Chimaev, there will be a lot of big fights for Brady should he get through Chiesa. However, for now, Brady is focused on proving he belongs with those guys through his performance at UFC Fight Night 198.
“I see there are all kinds of names people are super hyped about in the welterweight division right now,” Brady said. “I’m going to show who I am on Saturday night, and then, I’ll let everybody do the talking for me.”
UFC Fight Night 198 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex and streams on ESPN+. Check out Brady’s full UFC Fight Night 198 pre-fight news conference in the video above.
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