UFC

Grice slowly improving condition

Matt Grice
Matt Grice continues his road to recovery after a severe car accident.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

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UFC featherweight Matt Grice has been moved from an intensive care unit into an acute care hospital as his condition continues to improve following a Sept. 8 car accident.

On Wednesday, Grice made positive strides by talking with the help of a speaking valve, telling his family “This ain’t my first rodeo” when it comes to the challenge ahead of him. He also showed signs of his personality and flashed hints that his memory is returning, his wife Caroline told FOX Sports.

Grice has also begun light physical therapy and will eventually be transferred to a rehabilitation facility for speech and physical therapy.

The 32-year-old was stopped at a red light in Shawnee, Oklahoma when another driver plowed into the back of his vehicle. He initially suffered from bleeding on the brain that left him in critical condition.

A four-time state high school wrestling champion and blue-chip national recruit, Grice won a full scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, but his collegiate career was derailed by another car accident that eventually resulted in eight surgeries, something he was likely referencing with his words to his family. Amazingly, he recovered, returned to competition and eventually turned professional in mixed martial arts, where he has a 15-5 career record.

Grice has had two stints in the UFC, and during his current run has a win over former featherweight top contender Leonard Garcia sandwiched between losses to Ricardo Lamas and Dennis Bermudez. His bout with Bermudez, however, was a close split-decision that has earned consideration as the best fight of 2013.

To date, there has been no concern given to whether he could possibly resume his athletic career in the future, with attention properly focused on his continued improvement. Doctors and family remain optimistic that Grice will recover to a good quality of life.

Grice, who has two daughters, is also an Oklahoma City police officer. His family has begun a Facebook page to keep fans abreast of his progress.

His family posted another update on Matt's recovery and all signs point to a positive but difficult recovery.

 

https://www.facebook.com/gricestrong

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