The past two years have presented difficult challenges for Brian Foster.
After a freak injury knocked him out of the UFC and nearly ended his mixed martial arts career, the 28-year-old is finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Recovering from the brain hemorrhage which forced him out of a scheduled bout with Sean Pierson at UFC 129, as strange as this may sound, has been the easy part of the process.
The hard part for the Oklahoma native has been getting the national suspension lifted, which currently prohibits him from competing inside the United States.
Foster has exhausted every measure and resource in order to meet the requirements of the athletic commission. While past efforts have only added frustration to the situation, Foster is confident the end of this nightmare is soon approaching.
Foster has his focus locked on a long-awaited return to the Octagon and he'll do whatever it takes to get back to the most prominent organization in the sport.
Foster told the Bleacher Report:
I belong in the UFC. It is the biggest and best promotion in the sport and all the best fighters are in that organization. The other shows don't have the type of competition the UFC brings to the table. I know for a fact that is where I belong. I look at the guys I've defeated in the UFC and I see how well they are doing now, and it just has me shaking my head.
I belong inside the Octagon and it's time for me to get back there. I won back-to-back fights before I was released and have put together five straight since. I want to prove I'm one of the top welterweights in the world. There are so many great fights for me in the UFC, and all I want to do is put on a great show. That is my job as an entertainer and it is the way I support my family.
After his release from the UFC, Foster signed on to compete in Bellator's 2012 welterweight tournament. He was set to face David Rickels in the opening round but was unable to compete when the Mohegan Sun athletic commission refused him clearance to compete.
While Foster was taking the necessary measures to get the suspension lifted, he continued to run into obstacles. This forced him to compete outside the country.
During that time, he's won four more fights. While it has been a trying process, Foster believes it has helped turn him into a better man.
The past few years have been an absolute headache. Sometimes it felt as if I was doing these things, following these steps to get cleared for no reason at all. Everyone involved would give me guidelines and tell me what I had to do, but when I went about getting everything done, it would circle back around the beginning. It is like I did everything for nothing. I'm still sitting in the same spot I was two years ago. The biggest difference now is that I have several MRIs that show I'm healthy. I have several different doctors who have released me and say I'm clear. I've fought seven times since the UFC, and I'm undefeated during this stretch.
Everything I've done in the process of this suspension has come out of my own pockets. I've spent my own money to meet their requirements and it has been obstacle after obstacle. I've jumped through every flaming hoop they've put in front of me. I've taken the proper steps necessary to get this suspension lifted and I'm confident it is all going to work out in my favor. I'm healthy, man. I'm ready to go.
It's time to get back into the Octagon. After my release from the UFC, I didn't talk a mess about them. I took it in stride and tried to move forward in a positive fashion. Unfortunately, I went through hell in the process but I managed to hold it together. It wasn't easy by any means, but I'm still here. I'm still fighting and I'm ready to get back to where I belong.
"I want my job back," Foster added. "I belong in the UFC. They are an entertainment company and I'm an entertainer. We work well together. I'm ready to whoop some ass."