Rodolfo Vieira is thankful to be fighting at UFC Vegas 57 after fearing his career might be over earlier this year.
The Brazilian submission specialist is scheduled to make his first appearance of 2022 against Chris Curtis, but he was originally supposed to fight Wellington Turman back in January.
“The Black Belt Hunter” had to withdraw from that bout during fight week, and at the UFC Vegas 57 media day he discussed the circumstances around the cancellation.
“Actually, I had a problem on my brain,” Vieira said. “A malformation — I don’t know if that’s the exact word. But it’s something that I was born with. So, I didn’t know if it was serious or if it was something like normal.
“But, after doing the [scan] the doctor said that I was going to be able to keep fighting and that made me very happy. Because I was really afraid to have to retire…Actually, I was sure that I would have to stop. I was waiting for the worst. And thank God that didn’t happen and I’m here today. I’m gonna fight next Saturday.”
The 32-year-old made his name as one of the top grapplers in the world before starting his MMA career in 2017. A 5-0 record was enough for the UFC to come calling, and the Brazilian quickly improved to 7-0 with two-straight wins via arm triangle choke.
Vieira suffered his first MMA loss to Anthony Hernandez before getting back on track against Dustin Stoltzfus, and the Brazilian is excited to resume his career following his previous health scare.
“I’m feeling the same way that I was feeling after all those issues. The good part was that these issues made me realize how much I wanted to keep doing MMA. Even with all the fear and [anxiety].”
“The Black Belt Hunter” is set to kick off the main card of UFC Vegas 57 against Chris Curtis, who will be looking for a third-straight win to start his UFC career.
What’s your reaction to Vieira explaining the brain issue that nearly sent him into early retirement?