Alexander Volkanovski’s win over Jose Aldo at UFC 237 was overshadowed by a blood infection he suffered after the fight. The number one-ranked featherweight was then held in a hospital in Chile where he was treated.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Volkanovski bared more details of his illness.
”I guess it was too hard to tell because I was injured because of the trauma from the kicks, and that sort of threw me off,” he said. “But once I went on the plane it went crazy and obviously I just started feeling really crook [sick]. Then I went on the next flight and that’s when it really hit me; I had 40+ degree temperatures, it was nasty stuff.
“I was delirious by then and didn’t really know what was going on, but I was like ‘get me a doctor, I need a doctor’. So they did that and, yeah, it was pretty serious, the antibiotics didn’t work straight away; we were really worried about it hitting my tendons and bones because it was very close, once it does that you can have problems.”
Volkanovski says the plane’s layover in Chile was perfect timing, as he could have suffered serious damage if he was further delayed from receiving treatment.
”So we were pretty lucky the plane stopped in Chile rather than if I’d got on the next flight,” he said. “Within a couple of hours I would have had to tell them we’ve got to turn this flight around, and by then the damage would have been done and I could have lost the leg, lose your life.
“That stuff’s very, very serious, but it didn’t get to that stage. We got it just at the right time; we left it too long where it rocked me so much, but we got in just in time for it not to do serious damage.”
The 30-year-old Australian fighter was disappointed about getting passed over for a title shot by Frankie Edgar, but remains optimistic about getting his due in time.
“We were talking to the match-makers and that’s their plans, they said ‘look obviously we need to see what happens with Max and Frankie, but we still would love to have Alex fight Max or whoever the winner is later this year on that card in Australia,’ he said. “So that’s what we’re looking for. And obviously Alex is the No. 1 contender, he’s next in line’.”
Volkanovski defeated Aldo via unanimous decision, becoming the first fighter to score a win over the former long-time champion in a non-title fight in the UFC.