In a press release issued by Bellator Fighting Championships, Jarad Hess has suffered a third-degree tear of his lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
He will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be out of action for four to six months.
Hess suffered the injury early in the first round of his Middleweight Tournament semifinal bout against Alexander Shlemenko.
To Hess' credit, he fought through the injury until his knee completely gave out at the referee stopped the fight at the end of the second round of what was a very entertaining fight.
"The thing is, I really didn't even feel it at the time. I don't know if it was my adrenaline, but all I could think about was trying to finish that guy," Hess said.
"I had a chance to watch it on TV after the fight and I think it really looked a lot worse than it is. It's a bad tear, but the three other ligaments are all fine.
"My spirits are high, and I have no doubt in my mind that I'll be back in the cage soon. The thing I'm most upset about is that, in my eyes, I was winning that fight. I'd love to get a rematch with [Shlemenko] once I come back"
Bjorn Rebney, founder and CEO of Bellator vowed that Hess "will always have a home with Bellator," calling Hess "the personification of the Bellator spirit."
Rebney also had nothing but praise for the 26-year-old Oklahoman.
"Jared Hess is really a throwback to the kind of warrior mentality that existed long ago. You don't see that very often in sports today and, when you do, it speaks loudly to the power of the human spirit and the will to win.
"I can't say enough about the character that Jared displayed in our cage last week. His level of courage, determination, and never-say-die spirit is something very special to see. Immediately after his knee buckled and the referee forced Jared to sit down, he turned to me and started asking me to step in and tell the referee that he should be allowed to finish the fight.
"He did exactly the same thing last year in his championship fight against Hector Lombard, when he argued with the doctor to let him keep fighting with a gaping cut on his head.
"I'm proud that Jared is part of our organization and I am 100 percent confident that he'll be back fighting again under the Bellator banner better than ever following his rehab."
I think less of myself now that I called in from work a few weeks ago because I was exhausted from traveling.
The fact that Hess was trying everything he could to fight on, with his knee looking the way it does above, just shows everyone what kind of man he is.
If you chop off his left arm, he will pick it up with his right and hit you over the head with it.
I'm sure that I'm not alone when I wish Jared a speedy recovery and I hope to see him back in action sooner than later.
Personally, I hope that he gets another chance against Hector Lombard, whether he is still the champion or not.
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