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‘Red skin syndrome’ nixes standout collegiate wrestler Pat Downey’s MMA debut at Bellator 277

Downey was expected to meet Daniel Compton next month, but that will no longer happen after a recent medical scare. 

Bellator 230 in Milan.
Bellator 230 in Milan.
Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

Pat Downey is no longer fighting at Bellator 277 next month.

The former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler has been forced to withdraw from his much anticipated mixed martial arts debut against Daniel Compton after being diagnosed with topical steroid withdrawal, or ‘red skin syndrome’. According to, RSS can develop after a person stops using or goes on a lower dose of a topical steroid after long-term usage. Symptoms include raw, sunburn-like skin, blisters and fluid oozing from skin, all of which were visible in the now-deleted photos and videos Downey shared on Instagram.

Warning: Photos below are graphic. Please proceed with caution.

Pat Downey shares Instagram post about skin condition.
Nolan King of MMA Junkie

“Between this progressively escalating undiagnosed flesh-eating disease [and] recently tearing my my MCL / ankle I’m not sure I’ll be able to make my professional MMA debut April 15th,” wrote Downey. “I have not officially pulled out because 10% of me still remains optimistic [and] believes the other 90% knows competing under these conditions is not allowed nor logical considering these injuries have severely impacted my ability to properly prepare.”

Promotional officials have already confirmed that Downey is out of his fight. It is unknown whether his opponent will receive a short-notice replacement and remain on the card.

Downey has since visited with an allergist, who diagnosed him with RSS. He still needs to consult with a dermatologist and get an MRI done, but the 29-year-old feels better now that he knows what the cause of his distress is.

Pat Downey provides update on skin condition.
Nolan King of MMA Junkie

“I have stopped using all meds [and] we believe every cream especially cortisone or any other topical/injected oral based steroid is causing this crazy allergic reaction.”

Following a successful career in wrestling, Downey shifted his focus to MMA and began competing in submission grappling events. The ‘Lizard King’ has taken on notable names such as Gordon Ryan, Pedro Marinho and Jake Shields on the mats.