Brad Tavares has been forced out of action, but after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, the teak-tough Hawaiian is targeting a return by the end of 2020.
Tavares (17-6 MMA, 12-6 UFC) dropped back-to-back losses to future middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and rising contender Edmen Shahbazyan, and was all set to face Brazilian Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC on ESPN+ 28 in Brasilia before suffering a knee injury in training.
“Just training for a fight with (Cara de) Sapato, planted and my knee just buckled,” Tavares told MMA Junkie during a recent Dominance MMA media day. “Tore my ACL, tore my meniscus, fractured my femur. It sounds a lot worse than it actually is!”
Tavares explained that he initially thought he could bounce back faster without surgery, but eventually he made the decision to go under the knife following the advice from staff at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.
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“What I tried to do at first was, there’s a bunch of fighters who don’t have ACLs, it’s something some people can do without, and I tried to do it and did aggressive rehab for four weeks. I was getting good results, but just not the results that we wanted,” he said.
“So the staff at the UFC PI, we decided that I should go ahead and do surgery, and ultimately that’s what I ended up doing. And I’m honestly glad that…