If you were to pick a Comeback Fighter of the Year for 2007, it wouldn't be surprising to find International Fight League middleweight Benji "Razor" Radach at or near the top of the list of candidates for the honor.
After a seemingly endless list of injuries sidelined him, Radach returned to competition after a three-year layoff to become one of the IFL's premier fighters, winning his first five fights with the promotion.
Only falling short in his attempt to become the organization's first 185-pound champion to Matt Horwich last December during his IFL campaign, Radach looked to be one of the IFL's stars as they headed into this year's new format, but the injury bug once again struck, sidelining him for the last five months.
After taking time to properly heal, Radach is once again looking to return to action and prove he belongs among the top fighters in the middleweight division.
"It seems like I'm prone to injuries the last few years, but I think pretty much it was mainly because I was training so hard last year through the whole season," commented Radach on his latest injury stint. "I had six fights, and was only getting a week off between each training session, so my body never really got any time to recover.
"I was always just killing it, and I think my body just kind of gave up. I was out at Team Quest training rear naked chokes and fractured my neck. I put a neck brace on, healed up and everything feels great now. I'm ready to get back in there."
With the more open format the promotion has adopted with this year's schedule, Radach looks to capitalize on the downtime he'll be afforded this year.
"I like fighting not so often, so that way I'm much more hungry and less likely to lose," he explained. "When I'm really hungry I want to win.
"I feel good, strong and there's not much holding me back. Unless I get caught, there's not going to be much chance of me losing. That's how I want to feel going into every fight."
Radach is looking to use the next scheduled IFL show as a timetable for his possible return to action.
"I'm thinking about August 15 and fighting on that show," he said. "I'm not sure who yet, but I'm ready to fight anyone basically.
"I just want to get out there, start swinging and get into the mix, because all this time off has sucked."
When the question was posed whether he would rather take a tune up fight or go straight after current IFL 185-pound champ Dan Miller, Radach made it clear he's gunning for a title and nothing less.
"I wouldn't mind fighting him right away," he commented. "The reason being is, you can always try to take a tune-up fight, but you're not always going to train the same way as you would for a title fight.
"You might as well going into a fight training your hardest and fight the best guys instead of going in there training lackadaisical like you would not fighting for a championship."
Since Radach last fought, the IFL entered the most turbulent era of its short history. Many changes in the hierarchy of the promotion and admission of the possible selling of the company have become almost as newsworthy as the fights themselves, but he isn't worrying.
"I've always hoped the best for the IFL," stated Radach. "I'm just going to be doing my thing, and if or when they need me, I'm down.
"They've treated me pretty well and I'm going to stick to helping them out as best I can. I'm going to go with the flow and hopefully they can work something out."
Back healthy and ready to return to action, Radach looks to rebuild the momentum he had going last year and parlay it into a 2008 he hopes will end with gold around his waist.
"To all my fans, definitely keep an eye out for me," he concluded. "I'll be back knocking people out shortly. I want to thank L.A. Boxing for all their help, American Top Team, Team Quest and Xtreme Couture."