Former UFC fighter Vince Murdock is doing well after undergoing successful brain surgery Nov. 13.
"Ultimately, I feel pretty good," Murdock told theScore on Wednesday. "Sometimes I feel ... a little foggy, but honestly, I feel pretty good. I feel pretty there and very alert."
Murdock signed with the UFC in June for a short-notice bout at UFC Minneapolis but was deemed unfit to compete by doctors after a pre-fight medical exam discovered a narrowing in an artery inside his brain.
Murdock was released by the promotion after failing a USADA drug test in July. He was diagnosed in September with a rare brain disease called moyamoya, which reduces blood flow to the brain. He had a 95-100% blockage on the left side of his brain and was at risk of a stroke.
Three weeks ago, Murdock underwent a cerebral artery bypass, an operation that requires the removal of part of the skull to access the brain. The procedure, which occurred at Stanford University, took just under nine hours, he said.
Since then, Murdock has been focused on his recovery, which has mostly just involved rest. He said the symptoms he used to experience - numbness in his right arm, for example - have yet to come back.
"I haven't really trained or taxed my brain too much, so it's hard to say if anything would present itself. Symptoms are more likely to appear if I stress it," Murdock said.
The 28-year-old fighter said he had a stutter and blurred or double vision in the early days after the surgery, but explained that these are common occurrences after such a procedure.
Murdock, who plans to continue his MMA career, said doctors at Stanford have told him that he could be cleared to train in six months. He expects to be able to do light exercise - like run or hit mitts - within the next week.
If all goes well, Murdock, who's currently serving a 20-month suspension for his positive drug test, believes he could be back in the cage by the end of 2020.
"(It's) just kind of a waiting game," Murdock said.
However, Murdock said there's a possibility that the disease could eventually spread to the right side of his brain. Because of that, this is something he'll always be living with.
"It just has to be monitored," Murdock said. "I'm working off a bypass that's not as strong as the one you're born with. ... It'll never probably be something that I can just put behind me."
For now, though, Murdock, who trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento alongside several top UFC fighters, is focused on the present.
"I'm getting better," he said. "I'm getting new things to do basically every day or every week. I'm getting my life back."