Nover on Seizure: 'My Body Locked Up'

By Loretta Hunt Sep 20, 2009
A lightweight contest between Phillipe Nover and Sam Stout was cancelled Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 19 in Oklahoma City, Okla., after Nover reportedly had a seizure backstage.

Nover, 25, spoke to Thursday about the incident.

Sherdog: What happened?
Nover: It isn’t 100 percent definitive that it was a seizure that I had, but it definitely was an episode that occurred.

The people that witnessed it said that my body locked up, my eyes rolled back, and it was for two episodes. It was about six seconds long and for a second I was back and then I went right back into it.

Afterwards, I was feeling fine and couldn’t believe it had happened.

Sherdog: You were backstage at the UFC Fight Night event when this happened. How close were you to fight time?
Nover: It was about 2:00-2:30 p.m., so about an hour and a half before my fight. I remember I went to the Octagon, I walked around a little bit, then came back to the locker room and sat down. I had a Clif Bar, then said to my trainer Ralph, ‘I don’t feel too good. I feel real heavy. I’m gonna sit down.’ I took my IPod off and all I remember from there is waking up asking people what happened. I was profusely sweating and really getting anxious because I wanted to fight. The Oklahoma Commission doctor and the EMT staff checked my blood sugar on two occasions right there. After the first time, I told him to check it again because I thought it was a false reading. They re-checked it on my other hand and it was still high. The doctor said it was indicative of a possible seizure and they wouldn’t approve my fight. I broke down right there crying.

Sherdog: And you went to the hospital right after that?
Nover: I went to a local hospital. The doctor in the emergency room said he couldn’t diagnose it as a seizure. He said the only thing that was abnormal was my blood sugar was abnormally high and everything else was normal. My CAT scan, urine and blood work were all normal.

Sherdog: Have you had any past history of this happening to you before?
Nover: It sort of happened on the (TUF 8) show, when I passed out in the line-up. I kind of felt the same thing, but I never got a follow-up of what happened. It was on the show and I sort of just let it stay behind.

Here I was in the locker room. It might have been something like a similar episode where I had the anxieties, nerves, and cutting weight. Maybe it was a possible sugar rush, because after a weigh-in, you know you carb up. That could have been an issue. My blood sugar was 179.

Sherdog: To your knowledge, did the Oklahoma Athletic Commission medically suspend you for any amount of time?
Nover: No, there was nothing of that nature. I talked to Joe Silva and Dana White and they were very understanding about it. They knew it wasn’t my fault and I had no control over the situation. Dana said that as soon as I’m good and healthy, he’d like to see me back in the cage.

Sherdog: What precautions are you going to take to ensure this doesn’t happen again?
Nover: I have to find out what went wrong and make sure it never happens again. I think I’m going to have to see a specialist, a neurologist. I’m going to also check and see if it is a blood sugar issue. I might get an EEG done to see if I have a seizure disorder.

A few things are running through my head. Did I cut too much weight for a guy my size? I only cut eight pounds tops. Is the nutrition going in right? Am I eating too much sugar after the weigh-ins? Is it the nerves? Do I need to talk to a therapist or something? I’m used to the pressure, but my body just shut down.

Sherdog: Did you return to the event that night and watch the rest of the fights?
Nover: Yes, I did.

Sherdog: Did you get the opportunity to speak with Sam Stout, your intended opponent?
Nover: I did. In the locker room, right after the incident he came up to me and shook my hand. I apologized to him and he told me not to worry about it, that it wasn’t my fault.

Sherdog: Has the UFC indicated to you that they will re-schedule this bout for a later time?
Nover: I haven’t had any indication of that from Dana or anybody at that level, but I know Stout and myself are looking forward to it. Shawn Tompkins (Stout’s trainer) is also looking forward to it. If the fans want it and both the fighters want it, hopefully we can get it set up. I’m eager to get back.

Nover will be posting more about his experience on his blog at
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