The Road to Recovery: Yuri Villefort Documents His Rehab After Knee Surgery

(photo credit: Jerico Angeles)

It was not an easy month of June for the Villefort brothers.

The family tandem consisting of brothers Danillo and Yuri Villefort were both scheduled to compete on this weekend’s Strikeforce Challengers card, and within just a few days each of them was forced out of their bouts with injuries.

For Yuri Villefort, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

A 6-0 fighter rated as one of the brightest prospects in the welterweight division, Villefort was set to make his major promotional debut for Strikeforce before a knee injury flared up and forced him into surgery.

“The ACL, I had an injury before a year ago, but I didn’t do anything, so the injury was already there, but I didn’t know,” Villefort explained in an interview with “I was training and I think I was training too hard for the fight, and my ACL was already (torn) so the meniscus slipped. For the meniscus to slip, the ACL has to be (torn) already so my meniscus and my ACL were completely gone, but now they’re fine.”

The knee is now fine because just after the injury occurred, Villefort went to have surgery to repair the damage and now he’s on the mend.

“The surgery was a success, but it’s still going to take months for the recovery from surgery. It will take about 3 months, 4 months,” Villefort explained.

The disappointment abounds in Villefort’s voice whenever he speaks about the fight that didn’t happen. He looked at Strikeforce as a chance to prove himself on the biggest stage, and while he’ll still get that opportunity on another day, he wanted it to be this Friday.

“That was pretty bad for me because this fight for sure would be the most important fight of my career yet,” said Villefort. “It was my beginning for Strikeforce, everything was fine, the training was perfect, but sometimes (things) happen for a reason. Maybe soon we’re going to find out the reasons.”

To help with his physical therapy, Villefort will be doing a weekly blog on his website that will give him a little bit of psychological therapy during the down time.

Always an active fighter, Villefort will chronicle his recovery every week in a series called ‘I Just Want to Fight’.

“I’m doing the video blog every week on, you guys can see every week. We’ll show training, we’re going to show all the doctors talking, all of my family, everything, all my rehab, training for the fight, fighting, and hopefully winning,” Villefort said.

The reasons are both for him and for the fans to get a chance to see what a fighter goes through on a day-to-day basis as he rehabs his injury and gets ready to return to the cage.

“I never a saw a fighter showing the real world how it is. Some people think it’s easy, just go there and fight, people think we don’t train, we don’t have injuries, we don’t have pain, we don’t have problems. I just want to show a little bit, that it’s not that easy to be a MMA fighter,” said Villefort.

The documentary series will run every Wednesday and follow Villefort through his rehab and recovery as he gets ready to make his Strikeforce debut later this year in 2011.

Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for
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