“It was fun to miss fight camp because I think that’s something everyone dreads. When you’re fighting back to back you’re like, ‘Oh my god, it’s so hard every time’, but when you don’t understand for a little while and you can just come back and still be able to do it , you don’t take it for granted anymore,” O’Neill said.
UFC 286 COUNTDOWN: Full episode | Edwards vs. Usman | Gaethje vs. Fiziev
Not only does O’Neill feel she’s coming back physically stronger than she was before, but she also feels she’s coming back stronger mentally as well. Injuries are part of being an athlete, but it’s a mental struggle to get away from something you’re used to doing every day.
“When you’re someone like me who only lives (in Vegas) to train, works out four times a day and is just a little crazy with it, fighting non-stop and then putting it all on hold is kinda daunting,” O’Neill said. “It teaches you a lot of mental toughness and you have to overcome things.”
Just 11 months after her surgery, O’Neill is set to return to the Octagon inside London’s O2 Arena against former title challenger Jennifer Maia. It’s the third time in 12 months the Octagon has landed in London, and when she found out this card was happening, she wasn’t going to miss it again.