UFC vet Nicolas Dalby on battle with depression, alcoholism ahead of Cage Warriors return


In October 2015, Nicolas Dalby valiantly rallied past two rough rounds to fight to a majority draw with Darren Till in a rare encounter that saw both fighters entering and leaving the octagon unbeaten. From UFC Fight Night 76's “Fight of the Night” on, though, things seem to have gone in quite different directions for both fighters. Despite a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for the better part of two years, Till resumed his octagon path in style. Now riding three straight wins, including the first-round demolition of Donald Cerrone in a UFC headiner, he remains undefeated and is now one of the most sought-after commodities in the UFC's welterweight division. Dalby, on the other hand, went on to lose the two UFC battles that followed, both via unanimous decision. And now, as he prepares for his first MMA bout since September 2016, the Danish fighter took to Instagram to open up on why exactly his next battle, at Cage Warriors 93, is one of the biggest of his life in more ways than one. “Literally because I have committed to step foot in a cage to fight again after 1½ years away from the sport, after something that ended in me suffering 2 defeats in a row, the first ones in over 10 years of competitive fighting,” Dalby wrote. “But also figuratively. Figuratively because I have been battling a deep depression which resulted in alcoholism, apathy and hurtful behaviour towards the people I hold the dearest. Experiencing all of that and putting it behind me has been a very bumpy detour away from and back to the main-road that leads in the right direction.”

Fighting. It's something we all do. We fight bullies at school. We fight to earn a living. We fight through sickness(mental & physical). We fight our inner daemons. We fight with our significant others, friends and family. We fight for the rights we believe in. We all fight our own fights, small and big ones. Every single day! For me, one of my biggest fights are coming up, literally and figuratively. Literally because I have committed to step foot in a cage to fight again after 1½ years away from the sport, after something that ended in me suffering 2 defeats in a row, the first ones in over 10 years of competitive fighting. But also figuratively. Figuratively because I have been battling a deep depression which resulted in alcoholism, apathy and hurtful behaviour towards the people I hold the dearest. Experiencing all of that and putting it behind me has been a very bumpy detour away from and back to the main-road that leads in the right direction. How do you come back after a downfall like that? Can you imagine the self-doubt? Can my body still handle a gruelling fight camp? Is my mind strong enough to handle the sessions where nothing is working, doubt sneaks in and the lingering injuries that undoubtedly lie ahead play with your head? Am I strong enough physically & mentally to not just take the fight but to actually go in there and unleash the hell & fury I have in me when believe in myself and I'm running on all cylinders(plus nitro)? Those are the questions that will get answered before summer arrives. Maybe I'll get a major injury in the lead up to the fight. Maybe things won't “click” when I'm finally in the cage. Maybe I will lose the fight. But theres only one way to find out. And that's by fucking doing it! And doing it 110%! This is a fight to determine my future. Now is the time to prove to myself, my girlfriend, my friends, my family & the rest of the world what I'm made of. That I am going to follow up to the promises I made myself. And that is the real fight. If I do that, do the very best I can. Then I will win the fight in the cage. And the fight for my life! #LokomotivoDalby | #RoadToRedemption | #ThePhoenixWillRise | #FrateTrane A post shared by Nicolas Dalby (@dalbymma) on Feb 5, 2018 at 3:09pm PST

“Fighting. It's something we all do. We fight bullies at school. We fight to earn a living. We fight through sickness(mental & physical). We fight our inner daemons. We fight with our significant others, friends and family. We fight for the rights we believe in. We all fight our own fights, small and big ones. Every single day! “For me, one of my biggest fights are coming up, literally and figuratively. Literally because I have committed to step foot in a cage to fight again after 1½ years away from the sport, after something that ended in me suffering 2 defeats in a row, the first ones in over 10 years of competitive fighting. But also figuratively. Figuratively because I have been battling a deep depression which resulted in alcoholism, apathy and hurtful behaviour towards the people I hold the dearest. Experiencing all of that and putting it behind me has been a very bumpy detour away from and back to the main-road that leads in the right direction. How do you come back after a downfall like that? Can you imagine the self-doubt? Can my body still handle a gruelling fight camp? Is my mind strong enough to handle the sessions where nothing is working, doubt sneaks in and the lingering injuries that undoubtedly lie ahead play w…

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