UFC contender, Kennedy Nzechukwu is the primary caregiver for his mother, who is battling ALS, and sole provider for his four siblings. So, when Kennedy felt something snap in his left knee during a training session in October 2019, he worried his career and his family’s future could be in jeopardy. But thanks to the care he received from UT Southwestern, Kennedy is back in the octagon and feeling stronger than ever.
at six ft five, he's known as a gentle giant to most, competing in one of the roughest, most physically demanding sports in the world. Mixed martial arts fighting, just trying to impose my will and get the victory. You can find 29 year old Kennedy and in this Dallas gym almost everyday trance these days a week until one day I guess then wrestling has snapped. He felt his A. C. L. Tear a lot was going through my mind as far as my career. I was like damn, I'm done, I'm done. Like I won't be able to fight again. His team doctor referred him to Dr J. Shaw, an orthopedic surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center A. C. L. Stands for anterior cruciate ligament. It's a ligament that goes from the thigh bone, the femur to the shinbone, the tibia being a professional athlete and knowing that a fast and speedy recovery is extremely paramount to getting back to what he likes to do and what he wants to do and does for a living is extremely important. It's important because his hunger to win brought him and his family to the States from Nigeria over a decade ago. With the encouragement from his mother, Kennedy picked up M. M. A. fighting in 2015 and went pro just a few years later because my mom always talked about pursuing your dreams so you won't regret it when you're older. His passion is fighting but it's also serving Kennedy's mom was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease or LS seven years ago. I couldn't continue with college because I had to take care of her. And it was hard trying to balance everything Between being a full time caregiver and sole provider, Kennedy was training 35 plus hours a week at the gym, fighting for his family, Which was why the injury in the fall of 2019 was so detrimental. It was critical that Kennedy found a provider to get him back in the octagon as soon as possible. We decided together that the best decision for him would be to take a patellar tendon graft from his own needs Nigeria with dr shaw and UT Southwestern has been amazing. You know, they have a great staff, great physical therapist, a great surgeon, which is dr shaw and it's been awesome. You know, this is called the Lachman test. After months of intense physical therapy at UT Southwestern, Kennedy was ready to get back into the ring. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, UFC had to cancel all fights in 2020, so his comeback was delayed but in March of 2021 he came back with a vengeance, knocking out his opponent in the second round and at first I was nervous but then he held up perfectly and I'm grateful for that. And his fight in june looked very similar, taking another victory to the bank and I'm back to where I was before I'm back. I'm surpassing that level and neither one of them did it move right, continuing to give credit to dr Sean and his team at UT Southwestern. But with the help I've gone from UT Southwestern, that's awesome. It's been tremendous, has played a vital role as far as the rehab that I got from them because I got some crazy, amazing state of the art rehab. UT Southwestern is a top notch research institution, orthopedic surgery department. We're looking at our outcomes. We're trying to gather data on whether our techniques are working well and what can we do to make them work even better, faster and more efficiently, feels strong. You know, I think it feels stronger than this one. The life has knocked him down, Kennedy and vows to always get back up.