Fight­ing spirit leads to re­turn

Ter­mi­na­tor is back

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON

HE’S 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.