Ilir Latifi has received a temporary suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission after revealing that he fought with a staph infection in his most recent bout in the UFC.
“Even this week you see my leg is all swollen, I didn’t even tell my coaches but I’ve got a staph infection two days ago,” Latifi said. “As you can see here, my leg is all swollen. It’s an amazing sport but the margins are so small. You put in so much work and this thing happens the last day.
“Today when I woke up, my leg was swollen and I was like I can’t cancel again so I had to fight like this with a fever and a staph infection but that’s part of being a fighter.”
Staph infections, which are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, can cause serious medical issues and even death if not treated properly. A staph infection can also be transmitted through person-to-person contact, which obviously puts other athletes in harm’s way due to exposure.
The Nevada Commission condemned Latifi’s actions as “behavior that cannot be tolerated” but added that they have been in contact with the veteran heavyweight who expressed contrition about his decision to compete with a staph infection.
As a result, Latifi has been temporarily suspended from competition until an agreement can be reached on a potential punishment for his actions. Latifi could face an additional suspension as well as fines from the commission for his actions.
Following his win, Latifi also revealed that his fight with Oleinik was the final bout on his current UFC contract, and he wasn’t sure what was next for him in the future while also hinting that retirement could be on the horizon.
“I turned 40 now and I don’t know what happens after this,” Latifi said. “I wanted to say a special thanks to the UFC. It’s been an amazing run. It’s been some glorious fights and some ups and downs but there’s an end to every story. We’ll see what happens after this.”
For now, Latifi will have to wait for an adjudication agreement with the Nevada Commission is reached before he can even attempt to compete again.