Liam McGeary: “It felt like an electric shock, being bolted into my face all the way through my body.”

Liam McGeary: “It felt like an electric shock, being bolted into my face all the way through my body.”

By Jack Rainbow

“It felt like an electric shock, being bolted into my face all the way through my body. I have never felt something like that before”

The COVID-19 lockdown has been an alien experience for most. However, for Liam McGeary, it just prolonged a painful year out after his jaw injury sustained during his loss to Phil Davis in April 2019. This hasn’t stopped Liam being positive in his analysis of the time spent isolating with family, however:

“It’s not been too bad, to be honest. I have been hanging out with my kids, we live on a beautiful island, and we are very lucky to be here. We have been going off to the beach and staying with my family. I didn’t see any difference, I wasn’t socializing with anyone and it was quite nice. It was eerily nice.”

This doesn’t mean Liam was thankful for having to hit the pause button on his career again though:

“I had already done a year off. I haven’t trained or hit the gym since April last year. So when I was done from my injury after doing what I was told and had just started getting back to the gym, lockdown hit. I had just got my feet in the water. However, I did still need to calm down as I went into rolling immediately, so in that sense it was OK.”

The period of closed gyms led to many people being creative in their forms of exercise. Liam was no different, being fuelled by his desire to finally be able to train again after such a sustained period off:

“I have done a lot of outside work, such as shadow boxing and movements outside. I bought some gymnastic rings and started doing those, cost 24 dollars on Amazon and  I set it up outside by the ocean which was just nice. I took this time to reflect on a lot of things and sort my head out.”

The mental strain of what Liam had to go through with his jaw injury cannot be understated. Left without  being able to train and without being able to even eat solid food for months took its toll on the Englishman:

“It was f****** terrible. Absolutely terrible. It sucked. Wired up for 6 months, and I couldn’t eat. The bones took a year to heal. It feels better now but it sucked.”

Liam seemed at peace with the injury and what it cost him in terms of activity but the memory of the pain will live on forever:

“It felt like an electric shock, being bolted into my face all the way through my body. I have never felt something like that before, I just felt like telling him to stop right now please get off me! It’s my job it is what it is, its what we are paid to do, and we live and learn and move forward. It’s taken me a long time to realize this and it has been frustrating and hard but I did realize this at the end of it when I needed too.”

After a year of it would have been easy for Liam to be itching to return. When asked about his current title ambitions and comeback strategy, however, Liam showed patience and saw a bigger picture:

“I don’t know about this year. I would love to but with my jaw being the way it was, I’m not rushing into anything. If I want to fight for another three or four years then I want to wait until I am 100%. I am hoping to return this year and that is my hope but COVID can obviously tell a different story. My dentist said I can return to normal with rolling and everywhere is starting to re-open with different protocols and training so we will see what the new normal will be.”

At 37 years old after a year off due to injury, there are obvious questions over what Liam has left to prove. One thing that clearly burns deep inside him though is his desire to right the wrongs of his last fight:

“I enjoy doing what I do. I want to put on decent fights and stop these wrestlers from taking me down. Fighting Phil Davis, I gave him too much respect.  When he took me down I was able to get straight back up again and my training completely changed in that camp and I didn’t show what I was supposed to show which I am disappointed at, so that’s what I want to do, avenge my p*** poor last performance.”

After going through the torment of the last year it would have been easy for Liam to call it a day and retire. Getting through the broken jaw injury and the subsequent COVID lockdown remaining motivated, shows that he will be a force to be reckoned with when he makes his comeback.

With Bellator finally back up and running it will be interesting to see what is next for the former Bellator light-heavyweight champion, as he approaches the climax of his career.

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