Damian Trujillo

Defying the Odds: San Jose MMA Fighter Eyes Return to Octagon After Falling Off Highway Overpass

A San Jose MMA fighter who plunged off a highway overpass two months ago keeps defying the odds.

On Thursday, Sam Romero went back to his old gym to a place where the fighter feels he belongs on his road to recovery.

Romero says his injuries and recovery have been affecting him emotionally. And now he's going against doctors' orders and training back in the gym -- his "medicine."

Doctors told Romero to hold off on hitting anything until he fully recovers. But that's not in Romero's DNA -- he's a fighter.

"This is what I love, man," Romero said. "I've known this lifestyle since I was like 12 years old."

Romero was a rising star in the MMA circuit taking on any challenger inside the octagon. But on March 25, a jogger found him laying, half dead, along the Guadalupe River. He had fallen more than six stories from an overpass.

The MMA fighter still does not remember if he was pushed or slipped. His family calls the fact that he is alive a miracle. But they are at a loss to explain his return to the gym just two months after a fall that should have killed him.

"It was amazing. It was awesome," said Erik Benaquisto, Claudio Franca Gym owner, where Romero trains. "I didn't expect him to be here."

Romero is still a long way from returning to the octagon, but he said he will be back.

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