“Shameless” Don Shainis Returns to Cage Titans 43 After Broken Neck Injury

Bellator and Cage Titans Combatant Dan Shainis is looking to be triumphant in his return since his year-long injury

“Shameless” Don Shainis (4-2 MMA) had a prominent start to his professional mixed martial arts career. After just two professional fights, he was called up by Bellator, where he successfully won his debut and following fight. Afterwards, however, things did not go according to plan. Shainis suffered a serious injury in his fight against Daniel Matos (3-3 MMA) back in April of 2018 at Cage Titans 38.



Speaking with FightBook MMA’s Sasha Moks, Shainis explains that he was too eager and reckless in that first round. He recalled that even before the fight, he was feeling pain in his upper body and neck area and was thus making more frequent visits to the chiropractor. When the first round started, Shainis immediately put himself in a bad position, giving up his back and neck within the first few minutes. Shainis was able to successfully defend all of the submission attempts made by Matos, however something went very wrong.

Somewhere in that first-round, I couldn’t move my left arm. I remember throwing a guillotine at the end of the first-round. I remember I had it in deep, but the only problem was, I had it in deep, jumped to my back and pulled guard and I was about to put him out, but the time rounds out. But now I’m walking to my corner, and I couldn’t feel my hand. It was a weird stinging sensation that was starting and running down my neck, all the way down to my triceps and finger tips. I couldn’t feel my fingers which was wild.

In that same match, Shainis debated whether to tell his corner the extent of his injury. He decided not do dis-close how serious the injury was because he didn’t want his corner to throw in the towel. He did not want to quit. He continued to fight for two more rounds, with a severe neck injury, while also having his whole left arm numb from the injury.

I shattered my vertebrae, ruptured a disc and pinched a nerve. That whole arm and triceps, whole left side of my body was not working. I’m fighting off chokes but in my mind I knew I was not a quitter. I knew if I quit, and give in to this choke, then I would quit in front of all my friends and family and everyone watching and that’s not who I am… I refused to quit so I willed my way through a 29-28 loss decision which f****** sucked.

For Shainis, fighting is more than just money. Shainis enjoys competing for the fans and viewers at the venue, or whoever that may be watching the fight from home. The “Shameless Nation” – a name for all of Don Shainis’ fans are a collective group of people that share the same mentality as Don: To not stress over all the little things in life. “Shameless” has a personal tie with his fans, and to whoever supports him either by buying tickets or hoodies.

I am calling every person. I am texting every person. I’m snap chatting every single person. I’m Facebook messaging thousands of people. And it’s not just thousands of people, I know these people. These are people who I have built a relationship with. I get people excited. I am able to connect people. What I do is a really good job of building of what I call Shameless Nation, building a community to where 15 minutes at a time, when I go out there and I compete, you’re not worried about what you did earlier in the day. You’re not worried about what you have to do tomorrow, you’re right there in the moment with me. In those 15 minutes, I get people emotionally invested where they aren’t worried about the past or future…For those 15 minutes you’re right there with me. You’re nervous, excited and scared – just like I am.

Shainis is looking for a happy return into professional MMA fighting with a win on April 6th at Cage Titans 43. For more information about Shainis and how his training preparations are going plus more insight into who he is, check out the full interview linked above, or go check out The Complete Knockout YouTube page for the full video.