Over eight years since his retirement from the UFC, Spencer Fisher has revealed that he’s ‘permanently disabled’ and suffering from alarming neurological issues that at least in part can be traced back to his fighting career.
“I forget where I’m going, depression, dizzy spells, calling people different names, not knowing their actual names,” Fisher told mmafighting.com. “My kids, I’ve had instances where I couldn’t think of their names on the spot. My balance is shot. I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday. Last week is a complete blur.”
The full in-depth mmafighting.com story, titled ‘The Cost OF Being The King’ can be seen here and tells the disturbing tale of Fisher’s decline, which began during his UFC career.
Fisher delivered many thrilling fights inside the Octagon, perhaps most memorably his trilogy series of wars with Sam Stout, and retired from the sport with a very respectable 24-9 record.
Admittedly, five of his last six fights were losses, but only two of those defeats were inside the distance and technically he’d actually only suffered two TKO’s in his entire career.
However, that by no means tells the full story as after one of those TKO defeats against Hermes Franca in 2007, Fisher says he never felt quite the same again, suffering from depression amongst other issues after experiencing concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea and an inability to walk in a straight line for a week after the fight.
“I felt like something was broken in me,” Fisher recalls.
Fisher fought on for five years after that and was looking to have one last fight in 2013 against Yves Edwards, despite his mental health issues having deteriorated significantly, when his career was suddenly brought to an abrupt halt after being diagnosed with “bilateral destructive lesions” on his brain.
Fisher quietly retired from the sport and became one of a small group of fighters, including other UFC veterans like Forrest Griffin, Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell, who were given minor roles in the promotion, which saw him being paid $5,000 a month up, an arrangement that lasted three years until he was informed his services were no longer required due to a cost-cutting exercise in the wake of the UFC being purchased by Endeavor for $4 billion.
These days Fisher suffers neurological problems on a daily basis and is on multiple medications to cope with the symptoms, while he and his family struggle to make ends meet.
After many years of silence Fisher finally wanted to speak out about his issues in the hopes of warning others about the dangers of a career in fighting, while his wife Emily, also a fighter, wants to see the UFC give their employees a more comprehensive insurance plan.