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The story of how Alan Finfou returned to the place where his career almost ended

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HAYABUSA-SELO-GRACIEMAGSHOPAlan Nascimento’s life came dangerously close to be changed forever on June 1, 2014.

When Otavio Sousa swept him in the middleweight semifinal of the world championship, he hit his head on the mat.

After he tapped to an armbar, he could not get back on his feet.

He explains what happened at that moment: “I had a neck injury and a nerve got pinched, which made me lose the feeling both on my arms and legs.”

He left the Long Beach Pyramid in a stretcher and spent the next days in a hospital bed.

The injury was so important that five months later Finfou was still experiencing some symptoms: “They’re not as bad as before. I feel much better now. I have almost no pain and don’t have to take pills. I still feel tired from time to time,” explained Alan on November 2014.

Gradually, he went back to teaching classes, then doing some physical conditioning and, later on, some actual training.

The comeback to competition happened on April 2015, at the Rome Open.

Alan Finfou at the podium. Photo: IBJJF/Kenny Jewel
Alan Finfou at the podium. Photo: IBJJF/Kenny Jewel

Even so, one thing was still missing and it was to go back to the very place he got hurt, the Long Beach Pyramid.

That he did this weekend, at the 2015 Worlds No-Gi, as Finfou registered to compete in the master 1 medium-heavy division.

The outcome could not have been better, as Finfou himself tells us: “Last time I Competed at this arena, I left the place paralyzed from my neck down and went straight to the hospital in an ambulance. Today, I was back here again and I walked out of the building as a world champion. Praise the Lord!”

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