The controversy of Jacob Volkman not telling anyone about his blackout and seizure prior to his WSOF 3 bout with Lyle Beerbohm may be a stigma he will have to live with for some time. It is just one of those things that can’t be ignored; kind of like Kanye West, only more annoying. Volkmann spilled the beans in a post-fight interview with Sherdog.com:
“The maid knocks on my door and keeps on knocking, and I [thought], ‘I’d better not get up too fast.’ So I got up and walked toward the door, and by the time I got my hand on the door, I blacked out. Next thing I remember, I was shaking on the floor, having seizures. I banged my head, and I must have hit my back on the door handle. I didn’t tell anybody, because I didn’t want them to say I couldn’t fight because I just had a seizure. I had bills to pay, so I really didn’t have a choice. Mentally and physically, I felt fine. I didn’t feel cloudy. I kind of did a self-analysis based on my medical background. I just wanted to make sure that my cognitive was there and my mental state was up to par. I was mentally able to fight, still. The thing about chiropractic education is that the first two years are the same as an M.D.’s education. You just branch off after two years. It was a byproduct of being dehydrated. I don’t think I need a CAT scan or [anything]. There’s nothing cloudy. My memory is fine. I don’t feel sluggish at all. I’m good to go.”
Volkmann will no doubt be my least favorite fan if he ever reads this, but something has to be said about the whole ordeal. He has to be the Justin Bieber of the MMA world. Why the comparison to Bieber? Because, Bieber is always doing ignorant things to bolster his already stupid image to try and pad his wallet. Volkmann blacks out, has a seizure and then tells no one all so he can fight because he has to pay his bills? Excuse me?! Can you say irresponsible, selfish, moronic and arrogant?
Now, I do understand that Volkmann has a job to do. He is an MMA fighter obviously. If he does not fight he does not get paid and he cannot pay his bills. It does not take a degree in economics to figure that one out. In one respect I think we can all understand why he would not want to say anything to anyone about blacking out and the seizure. Some purses can be very tempting. His was worth roughly $20K.
On the other side of the issue I can’t help but think about how irresponsible his decision was and the outcome could have been. Who cares if Volkmann has had some medical training up to a point? I mean, that is like saying a meth cooker has chemistry training up to a point. Think Breaking Bad. It all depends on how you use your knowledge. In this instance I have to say it was just a bad call and a bad show of sportsmanship that could have messed up so much for so many people involved in the advocacy and advancement of the sport.
What if the issue involved in the blackout and the seizure went so much deeper than just dehydration? What if it was something like a blood clot or even an aneurysm? Now, I do not have a medical degree. I did used to be a volunteer firefighter and first responder over a decade ago. My mother survived several brain aneurysms. At this juncture I am just going on pure speculation based on a combination of those previous experiences, along with what little bit I remember from my venture through human anatomy and physiology in high school.
The length of the blackout and the seizure do not mean it was necessarily something of minimal concern. Likewise, even if it was only the first time he ever experienced these symptoms it would not mean they were of minimal concern. Since his medical training branched off he did not have enough training to make the proper decision as to whether he was well enough to fight. That would be like throwing a scalpel in the hands of a physician’s assistant and saying they can perform brain surgery. He had no right to put his life in danger at the hands of another man.
MMA is already a combative sport that garners enough bad reputation for being testosterone laden and not being safe enough for the fighters involved. Imagine if a fighter were to die because of just such an issue. It would take only one. I may not get an open invite to any of Volkmann’s celebrations or friended on Facebook, but I really mean the man no disrespect whatsoever.
As a person with a medical background and as an MMA fighter he should be able to see the dual sides of the issue. In the light of this he should have been willing to bite the bullet until he had thorough testing done to make sure there was nothing more to be dealt with than just the dehydration.
The old saying states, “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client.” In this case I would have to say a man who is his own doctor has an idiot for a client. Volkmann was an idiot for going into that fight without making 100% sure he was not compromising his own life, the career of another fighter, the reputation of MMA sports at large and the World Series of Fighting in general. If I was the President, CEO and/or GM of WSOF Jacob Volkmann would NOT have to worry about his next paycheck for such a stupid move.