UFC’s Ian Heinisch Puts Fighting Career on Hold to Focus on Health

July 21, 2023 11:08 am

Ian Heinisch, the talented UFC middleweight fighter, has made a difficult decision that puts his fighting career on hold. In a heartfelt announcement on Thursday, Heinisch revealed that he is taking an indefinite break from mixed martial arts (MMA) and has removed himself from the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing pool. The reason behind this decision is to prioritize his health, as he has been grappling with a range of serious health issues.

In an Instagram video post, Heinisch expressed his resolve to step back from the USADA pool and undergo various treatments, including peptides, to address his health concerns. He acknowledged the challenges ahead but emphasized that he cannot afford to worsen his current condition. The fighter shared, “Yeah, it’s tough, but it’s been a long journey and I have to do this. I can’t keep making my head worse. I know I can’t.”

Throughout his UFC career, Heinisch has been grappling with persistent health issues that have gradually worsened over time. It all began with skin problems that evolved into more significant health challenges. He recounted, “I started noticing some health issues that I didn’t really know where they came from. I started having skin issues. The doctor said it was folliculitis, but it would turn into staph and sometimes MRSA. I got prescribed antibiotic, after antibiotic, after antibiotic. I know other fighters are going through this. I know it. Eventually, my stomach was completely wrecked. I had blood in my stool for over a year.”

Heinisch attributed the overuse of antibiotics to causing him ulcerative colitis, leading him to an anemic state. Although he managed to gain control over the ulcerative colitis with support from his wife, who is a nurse, he encountered additional health challenges related to high levels of prolactin and thyroid problems. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland and results in a decline in hormone production. Enhance your MMA viewing experience with attractive betting odds from Nextbet

To compound his health struggles, Heinisch has faced numerous concussions and head trauma, which started to take their toll. After his most recent fight, where he suffered a TKO loss against Nassourdine Imavov, he reached a breaking point. Following his return to training, he experienced distressing side effects from a head kick, feeling as though he was disconnected from his own brain. Emotionally overwhelmed, he thought his fighting career had come to an end.

In an attempt to regain his health, Heinisch sought stem cell treatment in Mexico and took a break from fighting. Although he experienced some improvements, his efforts to resume training in Colorado proved challenging as he encountered further setbacks, including a knee strike during sparring that affected his equilibrium and emotional well-being.

Heinisch’s dedication to the sport remains evident as he continues to express his desire to return to fighting once he conquers his health issues. Despite the uncertainties surrounding the timeline for his return, he remains optimistic about overcoming the obstacles in his path.

Having competed in 19 professional bouts since 2015, including seven in the UFC, Heinisch showcased his talent during a three-fight winning streak when he first joined the promotion in 2018. However, in recent times, he has encountered more significant challenges, with a 1-4 record in his past five fights.

As Ian Heinisch embarks on a journey of healing and recovery, the MMA community will undoubtedly support him, eagerly awaiting his eventual return to the octagon when the time is right. Get the latest updates from the world of MMA only on Nextbet Sports.