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A tale of two toes

Neil Melanson, head jiu jitsu trainer at Xtreme Couture, talks with ESPN about how he decided to have a borked toe removed rather than spend a year away from the mats:

“I broke it in the first tournament I ever competed in,” Melanson told “Then over the years I broke it again and two years ago it snapped. It just didn’t want to live I guess.

“It’s really not a big deal to me. It’s just a toe. I guess when you love the sport and you’re committed to it, you don’t let little things like toes get in the way.”

“The only thing they could try, is put screws in it to straighten it out, but that would be up to a year of downtime,” he said. “The doctor thought I was a little nuts because he was like, ‘Well, don’t you want to keep that thing?’ I just said, ‘I can’t take a year off.’

“He didn’t cut through any bone. They cut into the foot at the lowest joint possible and then sow all the webbing between the toes. So, it looks like a Ninja Turtle foot or something.”

“Me and Randy wanted to have it embalmed and make a plaque to hang in the bathroom of the gym,” Melanson said. “But I would have to apply for a permit. Everybody thinks I kept it; they didn’t know I couldn’t get it done. Me and Randy were pretty excited about that idea.”

Jiu-jitsu is a pretty brutal martial art … it’s all about twisting your training partner’s body parts in ways they weren’t meant to twist, after all. Every time I think I’ve overcome my fear of the horrible things that can happen to you while rolling, some new and nasty story surfaces.

If you think Nine-Toed Neil (as Matt Mitrione likes to call him) had it bad, wait till you see the injury one of Miguel Torres’ students suffered. I’m putting it after the jump because yes, it is that disgusting. Warning: viewing this image may make it difficult to eat garlic spare ribs for a while.

  • iamphoenix

    which way to the store?

    i just don’t think about that when i roll…

  • CAP

    Pass the BBQ sauce.

  • G Funk

    Fuck! That’s the Big toe! He’s going to be a limpy gimpy forever.

  • DJ ThunderElbows


    I’d like to send a big “Fuck you” for not putting NSFW in the title – for those of us who follow FL in a feed reader – but it was scary and exciting so it was also kind of sexy, so I’ll just say “thanks.”

  • Letibleu

    You are like the “baby on board” assholes. CNN has pictures of car crashes with burned and dismembered people on a regular basis and sometimes pictures of Michael Jackson. Get back to work and stop complaining.

  • Omomatta

    I heard that if your exposed big toe bone is longer than your pinkie toe it means your gay.

  • fightlinker

    It’s a devil’s choice between occasional craziness after the fold in the reader or a truncated feed. I fucking hate feeds that are gimped so from time to time you’re gonna see some severed toe or Tito cock :-p

  • frickshun

    Leti–>nice pic. Very literal.

  • Jarman

    that’s a muthafucka of a toe-hold.

  • iamphoenix

    i doubt it’s from a toe hold.

  • Letibleu

    I am assuming the big toe got stuck in the joint between two mats as he was thrown by someone. It happened to me in judo but my toe only got dislocated, it didn’t rip off like a barbie leg.

  • glassjawsh

    at least ryan had the courtesy to hide it behind a jump. middleeasy just threw it straight on their front page

  • Jarman

    holy fuck, do I really have to type ‘jk’ to make a corny joke?
    saw a great idea for poor neil….if anyone ever sees this buried back here.

  • iamphoenix

    i doubt you were joking.