Erik Perez suffered a staph infection to his knee and was removed from April’s UFC 155 as a result. The original diagnosis wasn’t enough to scare the bantamweight, but upon further observation the seriousness of the matter became apparent.
“I was thinking about death, and maybe about amputation, and I even thought maybe the doctors were saying all that just to scare me,” said Perez to Yahoo! Sports. “I was insistent I wanted to keep training, but when I learned how serious it was I realized that the real foe was not my opponent but the infection. When I understood that, I didn’t worry that much about fighting or losing momentum in my career. I had to fight to survive.”
The 23-year-old consulted with a doctor who works on Greg Jackson’s fighters and felt surgery could be avoided. After about a week of letting the infection heal from a hospital bed, Perez was released. He will look to keep his winning streak going when he takes on Takeya Mizugaki later in the month.
Since joining the UFC roster last year, Perez has posted three consecutive round one wins. The fastest was a knockout of Ken Stone in 17 seconds.
They’re on the main card of UFC Fight Night 27. It’s August 28 from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.