Coach: Neal septic, on dialysis while in hospital

MMA

UFC welterweight Geoff Neal is resting at his home in Dallas, following a recent health scare that forced him into an intensive care unit for seven days.

Neal (13-2) was scheduled to face Neil Magny at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 29, but he announced his sudden withdrawal on social media on Sunday. Neal, 29, revealed he “almost died” in an Instagram post. His longtime coach, Sayif Saud, told ESPN on Monday that Neal fell into critical condition last week after suffering from some type of infection.

“For two days, we didn’t know if he was gonna make it,” Saud told ESPN. “He went to the emergency room on Sunday [Aug. 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.”

According to Saud, Neal tested negative for the flu and COVID-19. Physicians informed Saud that Neal’s heart was failing at one point, and he was placed on dialysis while hospitalized. Neal could not receive any visitors during that time, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he now appears to be on his way to recovery.

Neal is one of the hottest prospects in the UFC’s 170-pound division. He earned a contract on Dana White Contender Series in 2017 and has gone 5-0 since, with four finishes. Former champion Robbie Lawler has replaced Neal in the Aug. 29 bout against Magny.

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