Checkmat’s Luiz Panza was the protagonist of one of the most dramatic moments of the recent 2015 WPJJC, in Abu Dhabi. During the first round open class match against Felipe Pena, he sustained a broken right leg after a toe hold applied by the opponent.
Panza was immediately rushed to a local hospital and went under surgery at the beginning of the week. The procedure went well and the fighter is already out of the hospital and waiting the Doctor’s clearance to fly back to the USA. His wife travelled to the UAE and has been with Panza through the whole process.
Panza talked with GRACIEMAG’s Vitor Freitas about the moment of the injury: “I’m used to that kind of pressure to my leg. At that time, I felt nothing but a snap sensation. I guess the adrenalin blocked the pain at first, but when I saw my foot kind of hanging sideways, I went into shock. I remember saying to myself not to get in despair. Right there, Leo Vieira was at my side and told me everything was going to be fine, no matter how serious the injury was.”
Already on his way to recovery, Panza also shared what the medical team had to do to get his leg back in place: “They put a metal plate on the tibia and put the fibula back in place. They estimated 3 to 6 months before I can come back to training and I intend to take my recovery very serious to be back stronger than ever.”
Panza also revealed that he had the guts to watch the video of the fight many times to try to find out what went wrong: “I watched it many times to see what happened. The position was not in place. I’m sure that if I was feeling any pressure, I would have tapped right away.”