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Coach: Geoff Neal was septic, in critical condition — ‘We didn’t know if he was gonna make it’

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UFC 240: Neal v Price Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight veteran Geoff Neal, currently ranked No. 11 at 170 pounds, recently told the mixed martial arts (MMA) community he “almost died” after being hospitalized last week in Dallas, Texas.

I’m sure a lot of combat sports fans rolled their eyes at the idea of “Handz of Steel” on his death bed, simply because some fighters tend to oversell their injuries (broken back, cracked skull, etc.) when a fight falls apart at the last minute.

Not this time.

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

Neal tested negative for coronavirus.

Stepping in for “Handz of Steel” on short notice is former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. “Ruthless” will collide with 170-pound veteran Neil Magny at the upcoming UFC Vegas 8 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Aug. 20 inside the promotion’s APEX facility.

For much more on that recent turn of events click here.