K-1 and MMA fighter Mark “The Fight Shark” Miller will be doing a weekly blog leading up to his miraculous comeback this May. He will step back into the ring for the first time in six years, and become the first fighter ever to do so after having open heart surgery.
“Rumors of my death have been grossly exaggerated” – Mark Twain
I suppose it would be pertinent to begin at the beginning. The last time any of you probably saw me fight was Sept. 17, 2005. Yeah, you read that right. That’s six years ago.
Now let me tell you why I’ve been gone for so long… You see, I hit a few bumps in the year of 2007. In July of 2006, I went to get licensed for S1 Fights, a promotion out of Thailand. It was to be their first show in the states.
During the routine medicals they decided to do an EKG, and something came back flawed. I was born a type 1 diabetic, and was told at a young age that I had a defective aortic valve that would one day need to be replaced. I was used to jumping through hoops, and had been licensed no problem for fights for 10 years up until then, so I sort of brushed it off.
Next thing I know, I’m booking an appointment for aortic valve surgery. This procedure could have ended my career.
I opted to take the chance on requesting a cadaver valve, one which would need to be replaced in 15-20 years, but would allow me the chance to come back to fight. On the 21st of September, 2007, I went under the knife. I emerged victorious.
My heart healed perfectly. I was released to begin my training 15 weeks following. The day I went into the gym I received a phone call: Office of Latrobe Medical Examiner.
My father, Harry “Moose” Miller, had fallen sick. My father wasn’t a young man. He was almost 84 years old. He had played in the very first NBA game.
He had instilled in me my love for sports. I could never have pictured him, as old as he was, ever being so sick. April 18th, my father died. Wow, I just realized, that’s tomorrow (Ed. note: at the time of this writing).
My mother, Helen Rose Miller was ill equipped to deal without my dad. She was younger, 70, when she followed him only a month later. My brother, Colin, was the final straw. Colin had had a long history of drugs. On the afternoon of August 19th, Colin was found dead from a drug overdose.
I had no more immediate family left. Everyone that had raised me was gone. There’s been some other things since then, some good, some bad, but the important thing
is, I am back now.
I am writing this weekly blog to share with you guys, my fans, my friends, who have become one of my greatest sources of strength and inspiration, the six-week journey back to the ring.
On May 28, in the United Glory Promotion in Moscow, Russia, I step back into the ring once again.
I have so much yet to accomplish. I hope I can entertain, and bring joy to those of you who have followed and kept up with me. It has been a long and hard journey, coming back, but I do this because it is what I love, and, as Andy Hug, one of my heroes once said, “I fight to make the people happy.”
May 28, on HDNet, I hope to make you all very proud of me.
You can follow Mark on Twitter: @fightshark_com