Where is Geronimo dos Santos?
The Brazilian heavyweight signed with the UFC in 2012, and was set to make his promotional debut at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, against former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga. Nine days before the bout, "Mondragon" was pulled from the card after his medical exams indicated he had hepatitis B.
Almost two years later, dos Santos is still waiting for medical clearance to make his long awaited UFC debut.
"There’s no timetable. We’re still waiting," dos Santos’ manager Alex Davis told MMAFighting.com. "We’re hopeful, but we have to wait. Joe (Silva, UFC matchmaker) calls me all the time asking about him. It’s really sad."
According to Davis, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) demands that three antibodies tests come back positive before he’s allowed to compete again.
"His viral count is now at zero, which means he doesn’t have the disease anymore, but Nevada demands three positive results for antibodies and we’re still waiting for the last one," he said. "Doctors said that when you undergo a chemotherapy treatment like he did, the last one usually takes longer than the other ones, but he can’t fight until it does.
"I find it a little extreme because there’s no viral count anymore," he continued. "There’s no virus, he no longer transmits the disease, but I’m not a doctor and I can’t question the athletic commission, so we have to wait."
"Mondragon" (33-14) signed with the UFC after racking up an 11-fight win streak with 10 stoppage victories but hasn’t competed since June of 2012, and Davis blames Brazilian promotions and their lack of pre-fight medical exams.
"Not a long time ago, nobody did blood tests on fighters in Brazil, but it’s really important," he said. "Now you have a great athlete, a guy that could be fighting and representing Brazil in the UFC, and he can’t fight because of this.
"Hepatitis C is a lot easier to treat. I had it and underwent chemotherapy and I was cured, but hepatitis B is a thousand times more contagious than hepatitis C, and he probably got it in a fight. That’s the price you pay for fighting in promotions that don’t demand blood tests. We need to change this situation in Brazil."