UFC welterweight Geoff Neal was scheduled to fight Neil Magny at UFC on ESPN+ 33, but the bout was dramatically derailed when Neal announced on his social network that he had been hospitalized for a week, and nearly died.
Neal's coach, Fortis MMA founder Sayif Saud, spoke recently with Brett Okamoto for ESPN, and detailed what happened. neal apparently suffered an infection, fell into critical condition, and was in the ICU for seven days.
"For two days, we didn't know if he was gonna make it," said Saud. "He went to the emergency room on Sunday [8/2], he was septic by the time he got there. I spoke to the nurse and she says, 'We need to take him to ICU right now, he's in critical condition.' That's when my heart really sank.
"They said his white blood cell count was 20,000, when it's supposed to be 12,000. His body was fighting something, but they didn't know what it was. They still don't."
Saud said Neal's heart was failing at one point, and that he was placed on dialysis, but that he is now recovering. COVID-19 was ruled out.
Neal, 29, was given a contract after a win on Dana White's Contender Series, and is currently on a five-fight win streak in the UFC. Neal was replaced by Robbie Lawler in the fight vs. Magny.