Rodolfo Vieira was ‘really afraid’ after brain issue compromised combat sports career

UFC middleweight Rodolfo Vieira will return to the octagon against the crowd-favorite Chris Curtis this weekend. This will be his first fight since pulling out from UFC 270 in January due to a brain issue.

After being sidelined from competition for almost a year, the Brazilian will finally be back fighting. The 8-1 fighter is previously booked to fight Wellington Thurman on UFC 270 earlier this year.

However, after an issue regarding his brain scan prior to the fight, he has forcefully withdrawn from the bout. During the UFC on ESPN 38 media day, Vieira revealed his brain issue that almost put his career to an end.

“I had a problem on my brain – a malformation,” Vieira said. “It’s something that I was born with, so I didn’t know if it was serious or something normal. But 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.”

“I was sure that I would have to stop fighting. I was waiting for the worst, and thank God that it didn’t happen, and I’m here and I’m going to fight on Saturday.”

Despite the setback that he must get through with the diagnosis, for Vieira, it’s just become an extra motivation for him to continue his passion to fight and compete.

“The good part is this issue made me realize how much I want to keep doing MMA,” Vieira said. “Even with all the fear and anxiousness.”

And now with him getting medical clearance to continue fighting, he is looking forward to sharing the octagon with Chris Curtis.

“Chris is a dangerous opponent, a very dangerous striker,” Vieira said. “He’s coming off maybe six or seven wins in a row, he’s tough. He’s a monster and it’s going to be an honor to share the cage with a guy like him. It’s going to be his striking against my jiu-jitsu. It’s no secret.”

Vieira and Curtis will open the Fight Night main card on Saturday. The main event will be the clash of lightweight contenders Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot. In the co-main event, undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov will take on veteran Neil Magny in a welterweight bout.