(WFRV) – 25-year-old Taylor Lamonska from Oakfield, Wisconsin had dreams of making it to next step while fighting in MMA but it was poor training from coaches, high expectations, and constant concussions that made her step out of the ring.
It was Lamonska’s third MMA fight where she had gotten knocked out. She recalls waking up from the fight and not knowing where she was.
“I feel like that should’ve been a first sign for my coaches, at the time, to go tell me to see a doctor but nobody told me to go see a doctor or anything. Actually, my coach was basically like ‘Don’t give up fighting. Keep going'”, says Lamonska.
After having many concussion symptoms after her fights, it started to take a toll on her. She wasn’t in the right mental space and recalls totaling a car in a result of her head trauma.
“It messes with your cognitive thinking. So, it was almost like I was thinking like a 10-year-old girl. My mental process was like a child”, Lamonska explains.
The side effects she was experiencing were getting worse and Lamonska tells Local 5 that she regrets not listening to her body rather than her coaches.
“I based it off mostly of my coaches opinion and what he thought was best but I never really took a step back to think about ‘okay, am I actually ready to get into this cage and let someone like want to kill me?’ because you’re basically signing a paper accepting that you could possibly die in this MMA cage”, says Lamonska.
She believes that with the proper training and knowledge of concussions from her coaches, it would have drastically changed her career.
One of the episodes Lamonska recalls was during a Jiu Jitsu, one of her coaches was talking to her but she couldn’t process what he was saying and for some reason, she just stuck out her hand trying to shake his hand.
“I think they just thought I was dumb”, says Lamonska.
Lamonska’s last fight was in February of 2020 and since then, her kickboxing coach sat her down and told her she couldn’t spar for a year.
After that conversation, it was a realization that her MMA career and dream of fighting in the UFC nearly done.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more heartbroken before”, Lamonska says.
Even in 2021, a year from her last fight, she still experiences side effects from her head trauma. Her balance is a big factor in her every day life. More recently, she’s experienced ringing in the ears.
Looking back on her MMA career, she tells Local 5 that she had a lot of fun and most importantly, learned a lot about herself in the process.
Now? She’s recovering from chiropractic care and massages.
Lamonska hopes that her message and speaking about her experiences about concussions can help the world and future MMA fighters.
“Go to a gym, wherever you go, where you can talk to the people in the gym and tell them about your goals because I didn’t get a chance to do that. It was mainly what the coaches wanted”, says Lamonska.