Earlier this week Travis Lutter was forced to withdraw from his UFC 74 fight after reaggravating a neck injury. MMAFrenzy.com spoke with Travis about the injury, his next UFC fight, and the issue of steroids in MMA
MMAFrenzy.com: I understand you reaggravated a neck injury, could you explain how the injury happened and provide some details about how the healing process is going? Is there an estimated amount of time until you can return? Will the injury require any extensive medical attention (surgery, rehab, etc.) or is this something that you feel will heal on its own?
Travis Lutter: I had this happen about two years ago when I was training for a fight and it didn’t heal until after I took about 6 to 8 weeks off of hard training. So I am thinking that it should heal basically in that much time again. I really don’t think I am going to need surgery or anything but it is scary when you lose feeling in your fingers but I will be fine.
MMAFrenzy.com: There was obviously a lot of criticism online about UFC 67 and how it damaged your reputation with UFC management? Could you discuss what the UFC has said to you about the incident or if your relationship with the UFC is stressed?
Travis Lutter: I have not talked with or had any direct conversations with anybody at the UFC regarding this, they scheduled me to fight again so I guess that is a good sign. I really think I am ok with the UFC as long as I win my next fight. I made a mistake on my weight cut. That same year I made weight for 5 other fights that I had 3 of which were in the UFC it is just unfortunate that the first time I missed weight was in the UFC for the title.
MMAFrenzy.com: You also received criticism after pulling out of this fight due to injury. Do you have any comments for fans about your current situation?
Travis Lutter: I hadn’t heard that I was receiving criticism for pulling out of the fight until now. I really don’t understand how I can be critized for pulling out of this fight I was thrown on my head, hurt my neck, and am injured.
MMAFrenzy.com: Now that you are off the UFC 74 card have you received any contact from the UFC on when your next fight might be or who you might face.
Travis Lutter: I am hoping to fight in November and not sure who they are going to match with me.
MMAFrenzy.com: Recent comments from fans have speculated that the UFC is only giving you fights due to contractual obligations. Could your clarify your status with the UFC?
Travis Lutter: I do have a contract with the UFC but I did win the Ultimate Fighter 4 beating a lot of tough fighters along the way so I would guess that is why I am still fighting in the UFC
MMAFrenzy.com: Could you comment on the recent positive steroid tests in the UFC and MMA in general. Do you feel the use of steroids is a problem with the sport and what do you feel the UFC needs to do to solve the problem?
Travis Lutter: I really don’t think the problem is any bigger in our sport than other pro sports. There are going to be people who are going to cheat and sometimes they will get caught and sometimes they don’t. Are there steroids in pro football, high school football, world class sprinters etc.? Of course. I don’t have a answer with how to deal with it other than what the boxing commission is doing currently.
MMAFrenzy.com: Are there any sponsors or people you would like to thank?
Travis Lutter: I would like to thank all the people that were helping me prepare for this fight and have helped me train for fights in the past. If I have disappointed some fans by being injured I am sorry. I train hard and love to fight and can’t wait to fight again.