Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Jessica-Rose Clark will have to wait until deep into 2021 before making her next appearance in the UFC.
The bantamweight veteran revealed on Thursday that she suffered a torn ACL in her knee that will require surgery. The typical recovery time for major reconstructive knee surgery like that ranges between nine months to one year, depending on recovery and rehabilitation.
“So I got some bad news,” Clark said in a video posted to her Instagram. “So I hurt my knee in camp for that last fight and then I hurt it again in the fight and then it turns out I have a torn ACL and I need to get ACL surgery now, which is going to put me out for about nine months. So it looks like I won’t be fighting until mid-2021.”
Clark had already been sidelined for the better part of 10 months due to a foot injury before making her return in September. In her first fight back since November 2019, Clark battered Sarah Alpar with strikes and eventually secured a third-round TKO to earn her first UFC win at 135 pounds.
Afterward, Clark hoped she would receive a post-fight bonus while showing off a dwindling bank account that was down to $17.70 on the day she competed. While she did earn a full paycheck with her show and win purses, Clark didn’t end up being awarded with a performance bonus from the UFC.
She later told MMA Fighting that the money earned was ultimately “a band-aid” rather than a solution to her financial woes. Sitting out until sometime in 2021 certainly won’t help, but Clark is keeping a positive attitude about her future, especially after such a dominant win in her last fight.
“Obviously, I’m pretty bummed out about it,” Clark said. “I feel like the last couple of years have been pretty rough to be honest. I lost, then I got injured and I was out for almost a year and then lost again and then I got injured again. At least the one thing I am grateful for is that I still had a really great performance against Sarah.
“That kind of shows me that I’m on the right path with my training, with my mentality, with everything that I’m doing to try to become a better athlete, a better fighter, a better human being. I’m on the right path.”
The time off from training will afford Clark the chance to begin working toward earning revenue outside the cage, which she hopes will include launching her own YouTube channel where she will document her recovery from the knee injury.
“I’m sad that I have to take so much more time off, but I think this is a good opportunity to work on some external revenue streams,” Clark said. “Come up with some plans for how to make money outside of fighting.”
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