Junior dos Santos will fight Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Raleigh, but his most recent fight came in a hospital bed in Rio de Janeiro.
‘Cigano’ was originally scheduled to fight Alexander Volkov at UFC Moscow before being sidelined with a leg infection. It turns out, dos Santos could have faced life-threatening complications had he not immediately rushed to the hospital.
“It was extremely serious,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting. “I spent a week in the hospital thinking that I would get cleared and fight [Volkov], but the doctor came to me and said, ‘You don’t understand how serious this is.’ He said I was lucky to be a healthy man and that I went to the hospital soon enough, otherwise I could have gone straight to ICU.”
“I could have lost my leg or even died,” he specified. “The first thing that came to my head were my kids and my family, how fragile we are. I was feeling great, strong, happy, training for a fight… Everything going right, and all of a sudden this happens. It was a huge blow.”
That fragility is something that has suck with dos Santos: “I saw a movie in my head of everything I had dodged. It’s hard to explain how fragile we are.”
JDS (21-6) and Blaydes (12-2) are set to cover headlining duties at UFC Raleigh on Jan. 25. The co-main event is expected to feature an important welterweight clash between Rafael dos Anjos and Michael Chiesa.