Stepping into the cage for a fight is hard at the best of times, but doing so while unknowingly suffering from appendicitis? That’s what UFC hopeful Shannon Ross had to endure earlier this week.
“We didn’t know until today,” Shannon’s wife Bec told Wide World of Sports.
After his loss to Brazil’s Vinicius Salvador he received the standard once overs from the UFC doctors, before heading back to the hotel where he began to feel sick – taking anti-nausea tablets that didn’t help the situation.
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“He’d had a can of coke after the fight, which he hadn’t had in probably six months so he thought it might have been that – and then he messaged me the next morning saying ‘I think I’ve got food poisoning’.”
But after being taken to the emergency room, an abdominal CT scan revealed a much more serious situation.
“The doctor at the hospital called his manager, and his manager phoned me to say he had acute appendicitis,” Bec said.
“The doctor said ‘You guys have got one bad mother f–ker here’.”
Shannon acknowledged the speedbumps he faced along the way, including a passport snafu last week, and Bec said this was just another challenge for them to conquer.
“It’s been one thing after another,” she said.
Shannon Ross during his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series against Vinicius Salvador. (Getty)
Shannon was set to leave America today, but will stick around for a couple more days.
The main point of Dana White’s Contender Series is to unearth new talent – with performance just as important as results.
Despite his second round TKO loss, the Queenslander’s toughness impressed the top brass at the company, including UFC President Dana White.
“I was really thinking Dana was going to give him a contract as well, but there were five amazing fights,” Bec said.
“I always said to him – no matter what, your ultimate goal was to fight in front of Dana White, and anything beyond that is an added bonus.”
It’s far from the end of the road for the 33-year-old, who’s now hopeful of getting a spot on the card when the UFC likely returns to Australia in early 2023 – particularly when you factor in White’s post-fight comments.
“Ross’ durability – let me say this, much respect to him too. It takes two to make a great fight,” he said.
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The fight was so full of fireworks that White took the unusual step of entering the cage post-fight to congratulate both fighters.
“I was freaking out – I had to go in there and tell both of these kids how awesome that was. I’ve never done that before either, as far as I know,” White said.
White added that several fighters who hadn’t won, most notably the Australian, had impressed UFC matchmakers Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby.
“Those kids that fought tonight are right there,” he said.
“None of them should be disgusted with their performance or upset, they’re right there.
“These guys pick up a couple more wins, they’ll probably get the call … you never know.”
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