Injured welterweight prospect chronicling journey back to the cage on new website
Friday night was supposed to mark the Strikeforce debut of 20-year-old Yuri Villefort.
The unbeaten 170 pound fighter is considered by many to be among the top prospects both in his division and within the sport. While in training camp for his impending fight with Travis Bush, Villefort suffered a knee injury that forced him to withdraw from the fight, and subsequently go under the knife.
"I was training and my knee twisted," offered Villefort speaking with HeavyMMA earlier today. "My ACL and my meniscus (were) complete torn, but the surgery was a success; I'm walking already. I feel good, I feel healthy, and now I'll start the rehabilitation and all the annoying stuff that I have to do."
Out of injury came opportunity.
Villefort and Authentic Sports Management (ASM) announced the launch of his new website via press release Wednesday morning. The site, yurivillefort.net, offers the usual material you'd find on a fighter's personal website — news, photos, a biography — as well as a personal twist from the sidelined future star.
"I'm going to show all the recovery, the rehabilitation, the training on my website in a video blog," explained the talented, young Brazilian, excited to tackle a very different opponent. "I'm doing it by myself. ASM gave me all the support and tools that I need, and I'm trying to work in a new area right now."
The youngest Villefort says the idea to show his road to recovery on the newly minted website came to him while he was trying to figure out what to do with his time away from training.
"It's funny because I was really mad at the time. I didn't know what to do, I was kind of confused, and it just kind of popped into my mind that I had do this. I texted my manager at 12:30 in the morning, and I was like, `I came up with this, this, and this.' They gave me all the support, said let's do it and it's here today."
An injury and the pressure to live up to the lofty expectations of critics can be daunting hurdles to overcome for any fighter, yet along someone of Villefort's age. Thus far, the junior member of the Imperial Athletics team is taking it all in stride.
"Everything was going well; the training, the camp, everything was fine. Me and my brother, you know, it's something that happens in life," Villefort suggested. His brother Danillo was also supposed to compete on Friday, but suffered an injury as well. "God gave us this for a reason. We don't know yet, but sooner or later, maybe we'll find out."
As for the potential pundits see in him?
"Joe Rogan says, `There's always a kid out there,' (and people say maybe I could be that kid), but I don't really pay attention to this. I know that's part of the job, but I don't really try to focus and get status or like that.
"I don't want to be a promise, I want to be a reality. I'm going to get healthy soon, and I'm going to show you guys. I want to make a statement on the welterweight division in Strikeforce and show you guys more about my family, my team, and my coaches because that is really what is important to me."
For now, Villefort says his focus is on getting healthy, and he's already confident he will be ready to make an impact in Strikeforce's 170 pound ranks in the near future.
"I'm recovering really fast. I'm recovering already. I know that surgery was a very successful surgery, and I will be back sooner than I thought."