- UFC newcomer Josiah Harrell was diagnosed with a rare brain disease and was pulled out from the UFC 290 card
- Harrell’s manager said his client will undergo surgery
What was supposed to be a special night for UFC newcomer Josiah Harrell ended up being rather startling and shocking. Harell was scheduled for his UFC debut against Jack Della Maddalena at UFC 290 but was forced to withdraw after being diagnosed with a rare brain disease at the last minute, per ESPN.
Health over career
Harrell came to Las Vegas, Nevada ready to prove that he truly deserved to be in the UFC. However, an “undisclosed medical issue” was discovered during a mandated pre-fight MRI just after the official weigh-ins saw him being prompted to pull out from the card. Harrell’s opponent Maddalena, meanwhile, didn’t get a replacement opponent and was scratched off the card as well.
Harrell’s manager, Maurice Blanco later revealed that the said disease is known scientifically as “moyamoya,” a brain condition caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain. Blanco also stated that has been set to undergo surgery in an attempt to have it treated.
Needless to say, Harrell’s MMA career is very important but Blanco pointed out that the diagnosis was a “blessing in disguise” as worse things could’ve happened if the doctors didn’t find out about it early on.
An impressive record
It was unfortunate that Harrell was derailed by a brain disease because he owns a remarkable resume in MMA. He made his pro MMA debut in 2020 and has not tasted defeat since then. He has an unbeaten record of 7-0, all by way of finishes, before joining the UFC.
It is yet to be known what lies ahead of Harrell but the top priority at the moment is his health.