OTTAWA – Sports – Nick The Ninja of Love Denis is a Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight veteran who has fought in the United States, Canada and Japan. Nick has a remarkable 91% knockout rate in his victories with a career record of 11 and 3. Ten of his wins were by way of knock out.
In 2012 Denis won the $50 000 fight bonus for scoring the “knockout of the night” in his UFC triumph over Joseph Sandoval in a mere 22 seconds. The impressive buffet of blows was shows on sports highlight reels worldwide in the days and weeks following the event.
Despite still having 3 fights left on his UFC contract Denis, who holds a degree in biochemistry shocked the MMA world by announcing his retirement from the sport. Nick, who is fascinated by science, began researching the effects of brain injuries after suffering one of his few losses by way of knockout in Japan.
After much research Nick discovered that the kayo blows aren’t the only hits that put fighters at risk for chronic trauma brain injuries. Nick found that serious brain problems (such as the Parkinson’s syndrome that Mohammad Ali suffers from due to his 22 year boxing career) can be caused just as much by the less impacting strikes over time.
Most none-fighters don’t realize that combative sport competitors do not just fight on the nights of their bouts. These matches require extensive preparation training over months and often daily sparring sessions. Denis’s research indicates that the consequences of this continuous beating on the head can lead to a greatly diminished quality of life in later years.
In the following interview (conducted by 2012 Olympic Trials Greco Roman Wrestling Silver Medalist Devon Nicholson) Nick discusses his career, brush with fame, training at Tri Star MMA (training gym of the talented MMA megastar George Saint Pierre), future plans, the original UFC and for the first time on camera – the reason for his retirement.