It seems like at least once a week it’s announced that Fighter X has been forced out of a bout with Fighter Y due to injury or staph infection; when timing is especially bad, a single fight card can see several fighters rendered unable to compete, forcing a last-minute scramble to find gung-ho fighters who are ready to step up on short notice. The upcoming UFC 127 fight card almost had this happen, as main card fighter Carlos Condit pulled out of his fight with Chris Lytle with a knee injury and and co-main event fighter Michael Bisping was almost forced to follow suit. “The Count” recently told ESPN.com that he had grappled with a bout of possibly fight-canceling staph infection at the front of his training camp and was on the verge of having to pull out of his fight with Jorge Rivera.
“It was something I picked up in October and then it flared up again at the start of camp,” Bisping said. “The first couple of weeks it was really bothering me, and I couldn’t really use my arm at one point. My manager did say to me, ‘maybe you’re gonna have to pull out of the fight’, but we still had time. Fortunately the antibiotics have cleared it all up and now the arm’s great. My manager was saying, ‘you’re doing great, hopefully we’re on our way to a title shot, so you don’t want to derail anything’. He wasn’t saying, ‘let’s pull out’, but he was saying that I should think about it. But we still had plenty of time and it cleared up.”
Bisping assured that the staph infection has all but subsided now and that he was able to restructure his training around the painful infection so that he could still reap the benefits of a full training camp.
“It’s been clear for a couple of weeks now and it’s almost perfect,” he said. “It’s no problem, I just had to train around it, I could still run and still hit pads etc. I could still do everything but it was just extremely painful.”
Bisping fights Rivera in the co-main event of UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch, which goes down on the 26th of this month at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.