A pair of wobbly teeth will forever serve as a reminder to Alberta farmboy Jason "Dooms" Day of his first date in the cage.
"We had these roadhouse rumbles which were like small shows in a bar," recalls the Lethbridge-area scrapper, who will make his UFC debut in Montreal on April 19.
"Right after intermission it was my turn to go on and the guy dropped me with the first punch and knocked a couple of my teeth loose. After I fell, the guy got on top of me and gave me a couple of shots that jolted me back (into consciousness)."
Day finished the two-round battle by outwrestling the striker. He got the nod on the judges' scorecard but it was more than the taste of blood and victory that cemented Day to the sport.
"I had a big fat lip after and all the chicks loved it. So I thought, 'I have to stick with this.' "
The 28-year-old had been quietly building a reputation as a solid scrapper for Canadian-based promotions like TKO and King of the Cage for the past three years, but his stock soared following his win over former UFC middleweight contender David Loiseau in a Hardcore Championship Fighting bout last month.
So when veteran UFC scrapper Patrick Cote was forced to pull out of the Montreal fight due to an injury, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva knew who to call.
"If I hadn't won that fight, the UFC would have probably called Loiseau instead of me, so that win was huge," he says.
Day will make history next month as the UFC holds its first Canadian card in front of a sellout crowd at the Bell Centre.
The bright lights of the big time are a stark contrast to his humble childhood on the family ranch.
"It's kinda crazy. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere," says Day, who has a pro record of 16-5.
He attended a high school with 300 students where he excelled in sports, but didn't take up fighting until he was out of school.
"I was quiet. Didn't get into any trouble. A typical farmboy, but I got straight As.
"My parents still can't figure it out. I was supposed to be the doctor and my brother wasn't. Now, he's a month away from being an optometrist and I'm a month away from being in the UFC. Somewhere down the line something happened."
Day admits at this stage in his career, fighting is not his full-time job.
"It doesn't pay the bills yet -- not even close," he says.
In his other life, Day is a full-time homebuilder in a company he co-founded with his parents.
"I do everything from the architectural, to the hammer and nails stuff," he says.
But Day will be spending a little less time working and a little more time working out as he prepares to take on UFC vet Alan Belcher in Montreal.