AN MMA champion has been left paralysed with a brain haemorrhage after cutting an extreme amount of weight for a fight he lost.
Brazilian bantamweight Rudson Caliocane, 27, may never recover from his injuries and has been forced to give up his title.
Caliocane, who was Titan FC bantamweight king and had trained with UFC world champ Amanda Nunes, was rushed to hospital after collapsing backstage following his bout on October 19.
The fighter lost more than a stone in a day after severely dehydrating himself to make weight.
It was while in hospital that Caliocane was diagnosed with a blood clot and his girlfriend, Raphaela Meireles, posted a touching photo of herself holding his hand.
Blood could not get to a section of Caliocane’s brain, causing tissue in that area to die because it was no longer receiving oxygen.
As a result, the fighter is now partially paralysed on his left side, cannot walk without a limp and struggles to speak clearly, according to ESPN.
His agent Alex Davis said Caliocane’s neurologist told him the clot was the result of an extreme weight cut and not the actual fight.
Davis said: “This is an injury caused because of intense weight cutting. That’s what caused this.
“We have a new report from the doctors. They reached a conclusion that it wasn’t exactly in the fight. It was actually something that was created because he dropped too much weight.”
Caliocane lost to Matheus Mendonca at the Future FC 9 show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last month.
Now all Caliocane can do is prey he recovers and leads a normal life – let alone enter the cage again.
Davis added: “He’s a young kid, such a great kid. Everybody loves him. It’s a sore situation.
“The problem is that nobody knows if he’s going to be better or if he’s not going to be better.
“Nobody knows what’s going to happen.
“We’re hopeful, and our first focus is on him getting better and being able to live a normal life.”
Girlfriend Meireles wrote on her post: “Fighting is not the end of my story or yours. There is struggle in life!
“And after this will come others, but together we will win them all, as we have already won this!”
Caliocane said in a statement: “I have decided to vacate my Titan FC Bantamweight World Championship Title, out of fairness to the division, and to Titan FC and Lex McMahon, who has given me the opportunity to fight for and hold the belt, and have treated me so well.
“Hopefully, I can come back and reconquer the Titan FC Bantamweight division in the near future.
“However, for now I must concentrate on my health and getting better.”
Caliocane had won seven fights in a row before the loss in Brazil.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for expensive medical bills, with a target of £7,800.
Titan FC chief McMahon said: “This is a very serious injury that’s going to require many months – if not years – of expensive medication and therapy in order to make a recovery.
“We’re with you, Rudson. We stand by you. Once a champion, always a champion.”