Dan Hooker left the octagon at UFC Milwaukee a broken man.
Not in spirit, but physically.
Speaking on the Frenemies Podcast, Hooker revealed the extent of his injuries at the hands of Edson Barboza from their fight in November, in which Hooker suffered an orbital fracture.
Hooker, the UFC's No.13-ranked lightweight, suffered the fracture on the left side of his head in the second round of the fight when Barboza caught him with an elbow.
Initially booked on the first flight out of the States the following morning, the 28-year-old had his travel delayed at the request of the UFC medical staff, and was taken to a private hospital after an initial post-fight medical check.
His fracture required surgery, and he was diagnosed with a concussion.
"It didn't go the way I planned, but that's fighting," Hooker said. "It's going to take a bit of time for the body to heal and to let it recover."
Since returning to New Zealand after a short stint in the American hospital, Hooker has been working with ACC to recover from the concussion and get back into training.
ACC sent an assessor to visit Hooker to see how he was tracking, who then organised a meeting with a concussion analyst. He was then sent to a neurological physiotherapist.
"She was doing great things to help me with the concussion as well. Not only following the concussion protocols, but she was giving me exercises and she was giving me time.
"I've got no complaints, it's just going to take time and that's something I know full well."
Hooker expected it would be another couple of months before he would be able to think about getting back inside the octagon.
Unable to train, Hooker has watched on as his City Kickboxing teammates Kai Kara France, Shane Young and Israel Adesanya have prepared for their respective bouts at UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday (NZ time).
Kara France will make his second walk to the octagon this weekend to take on Brazilian Raulian Paiva after winning on his UFC debut.
Young returns to the octagon after taking a break from the sport, against American Austin Arnett. In his last bout, Young won by stoppage and claimed a US$50,000 performance bonus. In the co-main event, Adesanya will take on former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.