UFC welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio has detailed his struggle towards a career-threatening blood an infection as he prepares to return to the octagon.

Since his final outing in November 2018, Ponzinibbio (27-Three MMA, 9-2 UFC) has been pressured to take a seat on the sidelines as he battled a number of bacterial infections and arthritis throughout a spell that noticed him hospitalized.

“I’ve plenty of medical issues,” Ponzinibbio advised MMA Junkie. “It began with a blood an infection inside my physique. The an infection obtained to my blood, and I had two totally different sorts of micro organism. One is an epidemic staph and the opposite micro organism is pseudomonas. It’s a really harmful micro organism. I stayed within the hospital (and) I began with plenty of swelling in my physique in some elements, extra within the knee. I stayed there for eight days. I began therapy and so they put a peripherally inserted central catheter line in my arm and plenty of medicine.”

The restoration course of was presupposed to take six weeks, however after he skilled issues along with his medicine, the Argentinian fighter quickly misplaced weight and picked up a rising fever. It meant his hospital keep become a for much longer course of. He was ultimately discharged and continued his therapy at dwelling, adopted by a go to to the UFC Efficiency Institute in Las Vegas, the place he started his bodily remedy.

“It’s loopy. The primary time (when) I had 5 totally different medicines per day (and) nurses in my dwelling, I may do nothing,” Ponzinibbio stated. “(It was) very, very unhealthy and I stayed perhaps three months with the PICC line medicine. After that, I continued to be alright with a few medicines and the physician stated, ‘OK, you’re good. You can begin your bodily remedy on your muscle tissue to get again to regular,’ and I began to coach and I went to Vegas.”

However, after showing to shake off his bacterial infections, Ponzinibbio confronted one other problem after discovering it arduous to maneuver round throughout coaching classes on the UFC PI. The ability’s workers suggested him to get an MRI on his leg, which revealed a fair bigger downside that had beforehand gone unnoticed.

“I had plenty of ache, plenty of swelling in my physique,” Ponzinibbio stated. “I couldn’t stroll. … The day I didn’t take the anti-inflammatory, I couldn’t go to the room, I couldn’t go up the steps. It was loopy.”

“A few docs noticed the MRI and so they stated, ‘Hear, you’ve gotten an an infection within the bone. It’s very, very harmful. Perhaps you’ll be able to’t struggle once more in your profession.’”

It transpired Ponzinibbio was battling an an infection and arthritis on the identical time. He paid a go to to a rheumatologist and was lastly capable of zero in on his therapy for arthritis.

He was tentatively booked to face Robbie Lawler at UFC 245 final December, however, one month away from the struggle, Ponzinibbio knew there was no method he’d be capable of make it. He nonetheless couldn’t stroll with out utilizing anti-inflammatory medicine and was pressured to withdraw from the bout.

After nearly 20 months away from the octagon, Ponzinibbio, who’s driving a seven-fight win streak, is lastly wholesome and searching ahead to selecting up the place he left off greater than 18 months in the past.

“Now my physique’s again to regular,” Ponzinibbio stated. “I wanted to do plenty of work after this. All these months, for certain my physique felt that. Lots of situation coaching, PT and again, little-by-little, to coaching. However that is the explanation why I stayed removed from the octagon for a yr and a half.”

“It’s very powerful for me. At all times wanting on the division, the strikes, the whole lot. At the start occurred, they advised me, ‘Yet one more struggle and also you go for the belt.’ That is my dream, I’ve been working so arduous (for) plenty of years. I’m so excited and, a few years after, I’m combating for my life within the hospital. Ups and downs, (a) very loopy time.”