By Nolan King |
November 2, 2020 6:30 pm
However, Giles (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) never made that Aug. 1 walk at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“It was just me kind of coming out of a daze to one of my cornermen asking me if I’m OK,” Giles said. “I’m laying on the ground. The EMS came and everything. Everybody was looking at me.”
Giles had fainted. Moments after the syncopal incident occurred, Giles’ fight was canceled, and he was taken to the hospital. Later tests revealed an unusual issue, which flared up when he was on the monitors at the hospital.
“Apparently something weird was going on with my heart that they saw,” Giles said. “I ended up getting transported. They looked at me for a little bit. Actually, while I was in (the hospital), I was talking to one of my cornermen. He was there sitting there next to me. We were just having a casual conversation and one of the nurses was looking at the monitor. Apparently, from what she said, as I was talking to him, my heart stopped for a longer period of time than usual.”
Giles, 28, was soon after evaluated by a doctor, who indicated the duration of his heart beating was not all that unusual. Giles was kept in the hospital for further evaluation, where his heart skipped again.
“He said it happens to some people,” Giles said. “For some reason mine just lasted a lot longer than other people. They decided to keep me in the hospital overnight to monitor me. They said it happened a couple of times while I slept, too. They believe something may have happened where my heart rate probably dropped, and it caused me to pass out.”
Two months removed from the saga that admitted him into the hospital, Giles hasn’t had any more flare-ups. He’s confident it won’t happen again and has passed further testing.
“I’m confident that it’s an isolated incident,” Giles said. “I haven’t had any issues training or – that’s the only time that’s happened to me. It was definitely just some extremely poor timing. No, I haven’t had any issues lately at all. … I’ve never had these kinds of issues before. All my tests and everything came back good. It was just a weird thing, apparently.”
After the fight, his scheduled opponent Holland made some comments about Giles’ incident. Holland said Giles probably held his breath to get out of the fight. Holland later apologized for his comments.
“For all I know, that night could’ve turned out really bad,” Giles said. “I could’ve freaking died or something for all I knew when I was in the hospital. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Anytime somebody starts talking about your heart, that is life-threatening. It kind of did get to me that some people can make this sport bigger than life.
“If it comes down to it, and somebody is getting ready to really get hurt or somebody’s life is at stake or something like that, there’s no way I’d start talking mess about them or try to belittle the situation. I’d just be worried about if that person was good. I don’t know Holland. He doesn’t even know me like that. It’s not like we have some kind of crazy beef. I really didn’t’ have an understanding behind that. I didn’t really get it.”
Giles returns to action Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 40 and said he’s confident his body is ready for the contest. The promotion originally offered to rebook him vs. Holland for Aug. 8, one week after the incident. However, Giles elected to go back to Houston and undergo further evaluation before putting pen on paper.
At UFC on ESPN+ 40, Giles will take on Dana White’s Contender Series signee Bevon Lewis (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a middleweight fight.
“I’m glad it happened the way it happened as far as them being able to give me another fight,” Giles said. “It does feel a little bit good just to be able to hop back in there and get some work done rather than have a long layoff after that.”
To hear the full interview with Giles, check out the video below.