Fighting spirit leads to return
Terminator is back
Townsville MMA fighter Ryan “The Terminator” Yanz is returning to the cage after experiencing a brush with death that not only threatened to rob his life, but also crush his fighting spirit.
But staying true to the saying of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, Yanz overcame his life’s biggest test to emerge a tougher yet more grateful man.
He will fight fellow North Queenslander Taela Kelly in September to get back into the MMA rankings and rediscover the form that saw him become one of Queens- land’s top cage fighters, until a staph infection in his right leg almost took his life in late 2013.
“It all happened so fast and I was a beaten man for a good six months after it, but it’s when you get knocked down that your character gets tested, and I had three options,” Yanz said, who had his first professional fight in 2009.
“It was give up, give in or give it all I got, so once the leg got strong and I felt strong in the gym I started doing full contact sparring.
“It was very tough to go in the gym and there were times the leg would just give out under all the weight, so I just had to patient, and when I knew it was 100 per cent I started sparring and so far it’s been good.”
Yanz experienced soulshattering pain after first contracting the staph infection during a trip to Thailand, and he eventually had three operations – the last being an allor- nothing procedure that would have led to amputation had it failed.
He had those surgeries in Townsville after enduring makeshift procedures in Thailand that did nothing to stop the infection and ease his pain, and it was in a Thai bed that he was told he was close to death.
Suffering fractures to two vertebrae after a Muay Thai fight a month before the infection, Yanz thought his big test was finished after the leg was saved.
But he was unable to work for five months during recovery, losing income which led to him giving up a recently purchased new car, and being unemployed until landing a job with Queensland Nickel.
“It sucked, mate, and it got pretty dark at a stage, but I’m not going to waste any more time now, and I’m only 29,” Yanz said, who is training at Courage Training Centre under the eye of Ian Bone.
“I decided to take on Taela Kelly who is one of the best up and comers in the country, so it’s a very tough first fight back.
“The only thing that is going to beat him is movement. He’s a really good wrestler, so as long as I keep moving and work on my boxing there’s no reason why I shouldn’t knock him out as far as I’m concerned.”
RARING TO GO: Townsville fighter Ryan Yanz is returning to MMA in September for his first fight after life- threatening illness.