UFC featherweight contender Alexander Volkanovski’s blood infection was so severe, he could have lost his leg.

After the high of defeating Jose Aldo at UFC 237 in Brazil earlier this month, the Aussie started feeling unwell and soon complained of a swollen foot.

He later stopped in Chile where he was hospitalized in Santiago for about a week with a blood infection until he was discharged recently.

Speaking to ESPN, “The Great” explained how things went down as well as the severity of the situation.

“I guess it was too hard to tell because I was injured because of the trauma from the kicks, and that sort of threw me off,” Volkanovski told ESPN. “But once I went on the plane it went crazy and obviously I just started feeling really crook [sick]. Then I went on the next flight and that’s when it really hit me; I had 40+ degree temperatures, it was nasty stuff. I was delirious by then and didn’t really know what was going on, but I was like ‘get me a doctor, I need a doctor’. So they did that and, yeah, it was pretty serious, the antibiotics didn’t work straight away; we were really worried about it hitting my tendons and bones because it was very close, once it does that you can have problems.

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“So we were pretty lucky the plane stopped in Chile rather than if I’d got on the next flight. Within a couple of hours I would have had to tell them we’ve got to turn this flight around, and by then the damage would have been done and I could have lost the leg, lose your life. That stuff’s very, very serious, but it didn’t get to that stage. We got it just at the right time; we left it too long where it rocked me so much, but we got in just in time for it not to do serious damage.”

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What’s Next For Volkanovski

Volkanovski is fortunately all better now, however, he recently revealed he was p*ssed off at being passed over for Frankie Edgar in getting the next featherweight title shot at UFC 240 in July.

However, he has been guaranteed by the UFC to face the winner. There is also the consolation of still being able to potentially fight on the same card as the highly-awaited Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya card.

That card is still in the works but is expected to take place in Sydney later this year.

“Yeah, definitely,” Volkanovski replied when asked about the possibility. “Israel Adesanya, a training partner of mine, he’s actually pushing for that to happen as well. Obviously to have Max and myself on that card, as well as Izzy and Rob Whittaker, you can imagine how big [that would be] for pay-per-views, we’re talking serious money for them, so that’s something they want. I think the UFC want that, too. It’s going to be massive this side of the world.

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“We were talking to the match-makers and that’s their plans, they said ‘look obviously we need to see what happens with Max and Frankie, but we still would love to have Alex fight Max or whoever the winner is later this year on that card in Australia. So that’s what we’re looking for. And obviously Alex is the No. 1 contender, he’s next in line’.”

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.