Few people could understand what Anderson Silva has and is going through after his nasty leg injury last Saturday at UFC 168 than Corey Hill. The former UFC lightweight injured his leg in an almost identical manner as Silva did when he kicked Dale Hartt at a UFC event in December, 2008.
In an excellent new interview with MMAFighting, Hill talks about his own difficulties overcoming compound fractures and nerve damage from his leg injury and talks about how his heart goes out to Anderson Silva. The pain of injuries like Hill's and Silva's is hard to comprehend, according to the TUF 5 veteran.
"It's horrible. It's always what people don't see," Hill said.
"I could tell you my side, but I'm sure my wife, she'll tell you a different side. The nights that you stay up crying, partly because of the injury, but mostly because it's your pain. The minute [Silva] broke his leg, I remembered ice and elevation and bed sores. You can't move. You're immobile. You pretty much live your life on pain pills as best as possible. It's just an absolute, indescribable feeling. The initial pain, I tell people, find a steel pole, and just give it the hardest (kick) you can, your best round kick to that pole. Literally. Don't pull up. Try to kick through this pole, and that will be less than half of the actual pain you'll have. It's just horrendous."
The physical pain was compounded by embarrassment over the injury, Hill went on to explain. Having the best fighter in the world suffer a similar injury in the same way helped Hill leave much of that behind.
"It took me a good two years [to watch the fight when he injured his leg]," Hill said.
"And I still can't watch it live. I have to watch it slow-mo, just because of the sound of hearing the bone break live. It sounds weird, but until this happened to Anderson, to be honest with you, man, it almost sounds crazy, but I was embarrassed. You get so embarrassed. Everywhere you go, you're the guy who had the broken leg.
"We're in a sport, a profession, that requires you to be tough, to be physically fit. And to have your body fail in that way, just the mental side is horrendous. You'll always have that doubt in the back of your mind. I don't care who you are. It never goes away."
It took Hill a little over a year to fight again after his loss and injury Hartt. The 35 year-old has continued his fighting career, most recently fighting last month against Joe Frye.
Hill said that he worries for Silva about complications from his leg injury. It isn't really the bone breaks that can be trickiest to heal, but soft tissue and nerve damage, according to Hill.
"I suffered some pretty bad nerve damage. That's the biggest fear I have for him," he explained.
"Bones heal up pretty well, but you get those muscles and those nerves tangled in the wrong way - we were left with a condition where I have two toes on that foot I broke that won't extend. I tell people, man, in light of what happened, this is a very serious injury and my heart goes out. This is something I will carry with me the rest of my life, knowing that I will never, ever be 100-percent the way I felt in that cage."
To read all of Hill's heart-felt and honest interview with MMA Fighting, click here.