Teen battling brain cancer puts UFC atop bucket list

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UPDATE: Both Stoneking's father and the UFC confirmed that Jake is now all set up to attend UFC 171 this weekend. He's scheduled to fly early Saturday morning to Dallas.

On Tuesday, ABC News published a story about Jake Stoneking, a 19-year-old battling medulloblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer.

The story was about the bucket list Stoneking put together after he found out last month that his cancer, which stretches from his brain to the bottom of his spinal cord, was back and this time incurable. According to his father, Todd Stoneking, doctors initially told them he has three months to live, but there's a chance two experimental chemotherapy drugs could extend his time several months.

"After the doctor told me I had cancer again," Stoneking told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday. "I had a feeling that something was wrong. So I decided then, Well, I only got so much longer to live, I might as well make a bucket list now and do what I want to do."

The ABC News story highlighted the fact that Stoneking's top bucket list item was to visit a local West Linn, Ore. topless bar. Stoneking recently crossed that one off his list. No. 2, however, was to attend a UFC event.

In fact, Stoneking was close to crossing that item off his list last month, as well. His favorite fighter, Chael Sonnen, perhaps the most famous West Linn resident, quietly set him up an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas to watch UFC 170 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. According to Sonnen, the community paid for his airfare and the Cosmopolitan Hotel donated a room. Unfortunately, Stoneking ended up being too sick to fly to Las Vegas and had to cancel. As he mentioned, his new chemo treatment sometimes leaves him "down in the dumps."

Stoneking, a former wrestler and UFC fan since he was in the sixth grade, first met Sonnen four years ago when the UFC star made a surprise visit to him in the hospital when he was first diagnosed with cancer. They've kept in contact ever since and he's even visited Sonnen at his gym while training for a fight.

He said he currently has 17 items on his bucket list. He's already crossed off nine and looking to add a couple more (the rest of the items left on the list can be found here), but he seemingly lights up when talking about the prospect of attending a UFC event.

"It's always been something I wanted to do," he said. "I always wanted to see UFC. I always wanted to see people get beat up."

On Wednesday, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta tweeted he would like to make one of Stoneking's wishes come true.

And wouldn't you know it? The UFC has a big pay-per-view scheduled for this weekend Dallas. According to a high-ranking UFC official, the organization spoke to Stoneking on Wednesday and offered to bring him to UFC 171. Stoneking said he'd let them know on Thursday, depending on how he feels.


ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News

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