UFC fighter and Team Alpha Male‘s Vince Murdock is scheduled to undergo brain surgery on November 13. Despite having no symptoms, Murdock was diagnosed with high-grade cerebral stenosis just before his UFC debut against Jordan Griffin in June. Extensive testing revealed the 28-year-old suffers from Moyamoya, a condition that narrows” the carotid arteries limiting blood supply to the brain.
Things have not gone according to plan for Murdock this year. After being selected as a replacement to battle Jordan Griffin at the UFC on ESPN 3, he was declared medically unfit to fight just 48 hours before the showdown. Ten or so tests later, Murdock was diagnosed with Moyamoya—a condition that poses a high stroke risk. “I just kept thinking each test result was going to tell me, ‘It turns out your body’s fine.’ But that’s never been the case. They told me I have Moyamoya and I was like, ‘What the f*ck, what’s that mean?’ They’re like, ‘Brain surgery is the only way to fix that,’ and I think that’s when it all kind of sunk in. For a long time I was just hoping that nothing would happen, I guess,” Murdock told MMA Fighting.
While initially it was presumed that his career was over, second opinion confirmed that Murdock’s MMA future depends on the outcome of the upcoming surgery. “I had to go seek a second opinion and that cost me about a thousand bucks just for the guy to talk to me. He was the only guy and he was the most qualified guy. He said, ‘Obviously, the outcome of the surgery is the most important part, but I’d have no problem clearing you to compete given a successful surgery.’ And I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ He’s like, ‘I’ve worked on football players, high impact players, you wouldn’t be at any risk.’ I could almost kiss the guy on the head,” Murdock said.
According to the health expert Mary Wilson from THEGOODESTATE, Murdock is lucky to have had his condition discovered so early. “Usually Moyamoya is only diagnosed after a stroke.”
Nevertheless, it will be a while before Murdock will be able to enter a MMA rink again. Aside the surgery, he is currently suspended for 20 months for using Cardarine metabolites, a banned substance he says he was taking to battle fatigue.
Despite it all, Murdock remains optimistic. He is particularly grateful for the support system that has materialised around him. “I think a support system has really stood out because without that I don’t know how anyone would be able to handle something like that. That’s something I’ve been really good at, positioning myself around people that genuinely do care about my,” he said.“I’m optimistic. I’ll be okay.”
Murdock is currently raising $195,000, which would cover half of the price of his surgery, on a Go Fund Me page.