Nearly four years after participating in his last mixed martial arts bout, former UFC middleweight star David Terrell says he's still interested in making a comeback.
Talking to MMA Junkie Radio on Thursday, the 32-year-old Terrell (6-2) said he's nearing the completion of cauterization treatments that might put an end to the chronic ear infections that have hampered his ability to compete in grappling or fighting.
"I want to fight," he told hosts Gorgeous George and Goze. "I feel like I have so much unifinished business I wasn't able to do. I was never able to push my career due to injuries. I want to give it one more shot."
Terrell detailed the issue, saying at one point, he underwent a surgery which "filleted" back his ear, operated on the infection and then stapled the ear back in place. Still, the problem persisted and he suffered from constant infections and drainage.
Terrell, who is the owner and head trainer at the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance school in Santa Rosa, Calif., came into MMA with big expectations after proving himself a grappling prodigy. After knocking out top middleweight Matt Lindland in his Aug. 2004 UFC debut, he soon faced Evan Tanner for the UFC middleweight championship, but lost via first-round TKO.
He fought once more in the octagon, defeating Scott Smith via rear naked choke before his health issues caught up with him. Terrell said before he returns to MMA, he'd like to try a few grappling superfights to work his way back into shape and test his ear. If all went according to plan, he'd come back as a middleweight, though it likely wouldn't be for the UFC.
"They've done a lot for me and I'm sure they hate me," he said. "I let them down."
Still, he hopes that his career won't end with question marks surrounding it.
"If it was to end like this, I'll end up being an alcoholic with a lot of regret," Terrell said with a laugh. "Not that I drink but it weighs on me. I think about it every day."
(The Terrell interview below starts at the 16:00 mark)