It has been over two years since Geronimo do Santos signed with the UFC, but the Brazilian heavyweight is yet to make his promotional debut.
‘Mondragon,' who is 33-14 and riding an 11-fight win streak, was scheduled to face Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 153, but was forced out of the event when his medical examinations indicated that he had contracted hepatitis B. Although it appears the infectious illness is no longer in his system, he is yet to get medical clearance to fight in MMA's top promotion.
"His viral count is now at zero, which means he doesn't have the disease anymore, but Nevada demands three positive results for antibodies and we're still waiting for the last one," Mondragon's manager Alex Davis told MMAFighting.com. "Doctors said that when you undergo a chemotherapy treatment like he did, the last one usually takes longer than the other ones, but he can't fight until it does."
Davis also reflected on the state of local MMA in Brazil, as he mentioned that blood tests are a rare occurrence for local promotions, and that it is likely that dos Santos got the illness from another competitor he fought. He emphasized that the lack of blood tests and medical examinations is solely the reason behind such matters.
"Not a long time ago, nobody did blood tests on fighters in Brazil, but it's really important," he said. "Now you have a great athlete, a guy that could be fighting and representing Brazil in the UFC, and he can't fight because of this.
"Hepatitis C is a lot easier to treat. I had it and underwent chemotherapy and I was cured, but hepatitis B is a thousand times more contagious than hepatitis C, and he probably got it in a fight. That's the price you pay for fighting in promotions that don't demand blood tests. We need to change this situation in Brazil."