Walking Dead: Florian’s near-death experiences outside the Octagon

I woke up this morning and headed for my morning urination.
After I was done I saw that there was a small bark scorpion hanging
out on my bathroom floor. Somehow I had managed to step over it in
my sleepy daze on my way towards the toilet. I got lucky; small
bark scorpions are very venomous and had I stepped on it, I
would’ve spent some time in the hospital. That small arachnid
would’ve tapped me out faster than you can say Khabib
Nurmagamedov.

This incident, which was probably more information than you had
wanted to know, got me thinking. I was a pretty lucky guy competing
in the UFC Octagon. For around 7 years I competed in the Octagon
against the most dangerous men in the world in unarmed combat and
the worst injury I had was a torn MCL and a back injury. Even then,
my knee injury happened while doing wrestling drills and my back
injury came from doing Olympic lifts. Now, allow me to recount some
of my scarier moments in my life as I prove that some other
activities can be way more dangerous than MMA.

I was in 4th grade and playing in a heated soccer game against
town rival, Holliston. I went for a header and collided heads with
this pumpkin headed midfielder on the way down from my 6-7 second
leap. I won the header but lost the war. I suffered a concussion
and had to leave the game. I remember feeling groggy and dizzy. I
even remember throwing up Apple Jacks when I got home.
Unfortunately, I was unable to spell anything else but
“ooooooo” with my vomit. Soccer 1, UFC 0.

It was a hot afternoon and I had decided to race bikes with my
buddy Denis. Yes, his name is spelled “Denis” with one
“N”. I remember this because he spent a lot of time
practicing his penmanship. His “D’s” could never
ever be confused with P’s” he used to say. Anywho, I
was 11 years old and according to the “Bike Metric”
stats I had just made up, I was the fastest in the ‘burbs of
Boston. We were cruising around town and decided to race across a
parking lot. I gave Denis a head start and off I went. I was
closing the gap and I must have been traveling so fast that I was
just a blur because next thing I know, a car hit us. Denis went
flying off of his bike and I got side swiped injuring my thumb
somehow. I got some scratches in the process as well. Aside from
some scratches and bruises, Denis was ok. My friendship with Denis
changed after that incident mainly because I kept claiming victory
in our race as he lay crying on the floor. Looking back, it was a
good thing the lady was driving a Volvo because I could have hurt
her. Bike Riding 1, UFC 0.

(Proof that I’ve been making questionable decisions since I was
a child)

Everyone thinks running is a pretty safe sport but you’re
wrong! I was 13 and getting in shape for soccer season. Running
around my block was one of the best ways I knew to get in shape for
soccer season. On this particular run, I encountered an animal so
ferocious and scary that to this day, I am not quite certain what
it was. I remember hearing a barking type noise as I approached the
top of a hill. As I jogged past this home, I remember hearing
something panting behind me. I looked back for a quick second and
noticed a four-legged hairy thing running to catch up with me. It
is then that I decided to kick it into Carl Lewis mode and sprint
like a mad man. It must have been some type of mythical creature
because it caught up with me and bit me on my precious behind. Its
teeth must have been made of titanium steel because they had
punctured a little hole in the side of my rock hard but cheek. I
swatted away this beast and made it out alive. The scary thing is,
that creature may still be out there. Even though it was supposedly
confirmed to be a German shepherd, the “facts” just
don’t add up. How could a dog run as fast me? Running 1, UFC
0.

Last but not least is my story of climbing “Pedra da
Gavea” in Rio De Janeiro in 2003. I was a robust and healthy
24-year-old stud on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu training trip. I was in a
foreign country exploring Rio and getting in a workout with some of
my American friends. We were descending down the mountain off the
main path when all of a sudden I slipped on some wet moss and
started sliding down a cliff. My friend Rob had reached for me as I
slid feet first down the mountain. He grabbed my shirt but lost his
grip and had turned me around so that I was now heading down the
mountain headfirst. I felt the earth beneath me and then I
didn’t. I was falling in mid air completely unsure of when I
would meet mother earth again. I can assure you that the first
thought in my mind wasn’t, “I wish I had a V8”. I
was certain I was going to meet my maker. Instead, I met a giant
boulder with my back. It took the wind out of me. I then realized
that I was alive and when I heard my friends say, “I think
he’s dead”, I started to laugh. It was a nice 15-foot
drop or so. When I got off that boulder I realized I was on another
ledge and if I hadn’t landed on that big rock, I
would’ve fallen hundreds of feet to my death. It was a scary
moment for all of us especially when we considered it
could’ve messed up my hair. Mountain climbing 1, UFC 0.

My advice to you is, be careful out there and stay in an Octagon
where you’re safe!