It’s tough enough for a fighter to have an extended lay off due to injury but for top Canadian welterweight Chris Clements, a 16 month lay off coming off a loss was one of the hardest things of his career.

Clements (4-3) was off due to a torn ACL. Incredibly, it took him 7 months to even get diagnosed to have the surgery. It took him another 6 months to recover and 3 months to get back into shape. He took the time to learn some new skills, but sitting out that long wasn’t easy.

Image of Chris Clements from “The hardest part wasn’t watching myself get out of shape or the fact that I couldn’t train my body. I looked at it as to chance to learn more techniques mentally and expand my knowledge. The hardest thing was having to deal with coming off a loss for that long especially a loss I feel never should have happened to me. It is one thing to lose then jump back in a few months later and get a win but having that in the back of my mind for 16 months drove me nuts.”

That loss was at TKO 30 when a mistake in the second round cost him the fight and a TKO welterweight title against Jesse Bongfeldt. Clements easily controlled round 1, but fell victim to a rear naked choke at 1:57 of round 2.

He took part in the first ever Strike Box promotion in Quebec last week where fights took place primarily on the feet. He won in the first round by using his devastating leg and body kicks that put his opponent down in round 1.

“It feels really good to have won, but for some reason I do not feel as though I accomplished anything fantastic. I do not even feel like I really fought! Coming off such a long time off I craved a real fight. I needed the satisfaction of letting everything that has built over the past 16 months out in the ring. There is still so much built up inside me, so I need to fight again, soon.”

Clements has done more with 7 professional fights than most fighters. He has fought for a title, executed the fastest KO in MMA history (3 seconds), fought in the IFL and was one more interview away from making a season of The Ultimate Fighter. And once again the Chatham, Ontario born fighter is ready to take on another challenge as he is healed up and is ready to get in the ring.

“I plan to keep improving, keep fighting, and keep winning. I know I am one of the top welterweights in the country and I am going to prove that once again.”

It’s been a long 16 months, but Clements has managed to take a lot from it. The always humble Canadian star has had a lot of help over the last 16 months.

“I would like to thank my fiance, my family and friends, my students and fans for always standing behind me and believing in me. I would like to thank all the boys at Adrenaline MMA including Alex Gasson, Mark Hominick, Rowan Cunningham and Pete Brown including manner others. I would like to thank Riccardo from Fight Planet for his support as well. Special thanks to Shawn Tompkins for all of his help from the very beginning.

I feel this fight was just a warm up for me, I feel sorry for my next opponent he is going to let it all laid out on him!”