Former two-time heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez tells ESPN that he has such severe sciatic nerve pain that he has trouble even standing up for more than 10 minutes. "It's an achy pain that goes down your leg, and it gets to a point where if you're standing for 10 minutes, you have to sit down," he said.
"If you're going out for a while, a half-hour, you know it's going to be pretty painful. You have to sit down and take the compression off your back."
Given how awful that sounds, it is astounding that Velasquez is still set to rematch Fabricio Werdum in just over a week at UFC 207. The injury and pain is nothing new, either.
Velasquez has already had surgery to attempt to alleviate the pain, and has another scheduled for just days after UFC 207. The all-time great revealed that, in his opinion, the only reason he's been able to deal with the pain and continue training to fight is that he's being treated with medical marijuana, specifically a CBD oil which he administers to himself with an oral spray.
"It's the only thing that allows me to still train," he continued.
"And, I'm not taking a harmful painkiller into my body that I'll later become addicted to. I don't know how everyone is going to feel about me saying this, but this is just one of the hard facts we as fighters have to go through. In the past, in the NFL, players have gotten addicted to painkillers. I don't want to be an addict of some sort."
It isn't just NFL athletes who have opioid-addiction problems, either. A rarely spoken of issue in MMA is how many fighters become addicted to prescription pain killers.
#CainVelasquez believes his treatment is much healthier. Furthermore, it isn't something that is disallowed unless it is used in the final hours before he competes at UFC 207.
Most importantly, however, Velasquez says medical marijuana is working for him. Leading up to UFC 207, Cain has "done everything. I've sparred, wrestled. I'm not missing workouts at all. I've done my conditioning - everything," he insisted.
"I feel great going into this."