WEC bantamweight Will Ribeiro is hospitalized and comatose following an early morning motorcycle accident in Rio De Janeiro, according to Ed Soares, the fighter’s manager.
Soares said one of his assistants in Brazil told him Ribeiro was riding as a passenger on the motorcycle and was not wearing a helmet. The street they were riding on was slick due to rain. Ribeiro was rushed to a local hospital and underwent emergency surgery.
“My assistant said that the doctor said for sure that he (Ribeiro) has lost sight in one of his eyes,” Soares said. “He’s still in a coma. After surgery the doctor said there is a 50-50 shot that he will come out of it (survive).”
Ribeiro, who is as humble and gracious outside of the ring as he is exciting inside of it, most recently fought on the WEC’s Dec. 3 card in Las Vegas, losing by tap out to Brian Bowles. The 25-year-old Brazilian is an extremely well-rounded fighter who grew up poor and lost his father at the age of 2. His mother also died, leaving Ribeiro to raise his 12-year-old sister.
“He’s a very positive guy, very hard-working, a good person,” Soares said of Ribeiro. “He had had a very rough life. His mother passed away like seven years ago and he took over the care of his younger sister. He’s like a father-brother-mother to her … I’m still crushed right now.”
The WEC will continue to offer updates on Ribeiro’s condition as they become available.