I got the chance to catch up with recent UFC-signee and bantamweight prospect Mike Easton. Easton makes his UFC debut at UFC on Versus 6 where he faces relative newcomer Jeff Hougland. Easton and I discuss a number of topics, but I wanted to call attention to two different parts of this interview.
First, Easton acknowledges in his time off other promotions - even respectable outfits like Bellator - were seeking his services, but he turned them all down in favor of an opportunity in the UFC. As Easton tells it, getting to the UFC was a promise he made to his parents when he embarked on his mixed martial arts career. If they were going to grant their blessings to him to make this his occupation, he had to honor his commitment to reach the highest level. Signing with the UFC for Easton isn't just professional accomplishment, it was a personal and familial obligation.
Second, check out the horrific elbow injury Easton's been suffering through. We get good footage of past the five-minute mark. Easton originally broke his arm/elbow in September of 2007. He struggled through his fighting career all the way up until his last bout against Chase Beebe in October of 2009. As Easton tells it, screws from the original surgery were coming loose as he had re-broken his arm, but continued to fight professionally, thereby exacerbating his injury.
Easton now claims he's nearly completely healed (or as healed as he's going to get) and eager to return to prize fighting.