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While sidelined with a broken hand, UFC’s Punahele Soriano reveals fighting severe infection: ‘I think I almost died’

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LAS VEGAS – UFC Middleweight Soriano Forest thinks the infection nearly claimed his life.

Soriano (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) returns to action after six months away from the tournament UFC fight at night 217 meet with Roman Kopylov. The fight will take place on Saturday at the UFC Apex tournament in Las Vegas. The map airs on ESPN+.

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After my last victory knockout in the second round from Dalcha Lungjambula in July, Soriano pulled out with a broken arm. At a media day on Wednesday, he revealed that this was not the only issue he faced during his time out of the cage.

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“I didn’t actually tell anyone, but I got really, really sick,” Soriano told reporters. “I feel like I almost died. I had shingles that turned into cellulitis, both on my face and under my heart.

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“It was funny, I ended up in the emergency room. I had to give antibiotics and all that shit. But last night I remember just laying on the couch and feeling like I was in a choke hold. I thought, “This might be the night I won’t wake up.” I thought, “Well, I hope I’ll just wake up.” And then I went to bed. But I woke up.”


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Soriano told the horror story in a hilarious manner and even showed off the discoloration and scars left on his face and chest from a skin infection.

Now that the infection has cleared and his hand has healed, he is eager to get back to work against the “monster” Kopylov (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and set the tone for his team.

“He took out (Alessio) Di Chirico pretty well and I’m happy to go against him,” Soriano said. “He’s good everywhere and I’m ready to fight him.”

To learn more about the card, visit the MMA Junkie event center to UFC fight at night 217.


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The story originally appeared on MMA Junkie.


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