Marcus Brimage: Out of the darkness & into new class

Elias Cepeda
Marcus Brimage [R] looks to rebound at a new weight class (Getty)

Marcus Brimage

Marcus Brimage [R] looks to rebound at a new weight class (Getty)

Marcus Brimage burst onto the UFC featherweight scene in late 2011 and won three straight fights in less than a year’s time. These days, however, he’s still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon that has kept him out of action for over a year, since losing to Conor McGregor in April, 2013.

The road back since losing and getting injured has been dark, at times, for the “Bama Beast,” but he’s in better spirits lately and plans to move down a division to bantamweight upon his return. The American Top Team fighter says the thought of moving down to 135 pounds first occurred to him when he fought Jim Hettes in 2012.

“I remember weighing in with him and then getting into the cage the next day and thinking, ‘this isn’t the same guy who weighed in,’” Brimage recalls.

“Guys were dying to make weight and I was always joking around, laughing, on weigh in day. You shouldn’t be having a good time while cutting weight.”

At 5’4, the 29 year-old can surely feel comfortable at 135 pounds. It will likely be a welcome change to fight men who don’t tower over him quite so much when he makes his Octagon return, either. After all, Brimage will already be fighting a good deal of ring rust considering how long he’s been out.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the fighter has gone through a long layoff on account of injuries. After competing in the “Iron Ring” reality television fight competition show in 2008, Brimage was forced out of action for a year and a half because of injuries.

For a professional fighter, being on the injured reserve hurts in many ways, both literal and figurative. Cagewriter asks Brimage what is the worst part of being injured – the physical, psychological or financial burdens?

“Man, all of the above,” he chuckles.

“Physically, you can’t do what you love to do, each day. Mentally, that starts to get to you and you can get down. I was in a bad place for a while. Financially, you look around and you’re like, ‘dang, I’m damn near broke.’”

At that, Brimage laughs again but it’s easy to understand that the situation is no joking matter, in reality. Fortunately, Brimage is making progress on the first two fronts and hopes that improvement there will lead to wins and financial gain once he’s able to fight in the near future.

“I am doing better now, mentally,” he says.

Physically, Brimage is coming along as well. So much so, that he says he wants to jump right back in with the sharks of the UFC’s bantamweight division.

“When I fight again, I mean, my goal is to become the champion one day. I’m not just fighting to fight,” he explains.

“I want to be the champion. So, they might as well give me a top ten guy right away.”

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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