Austin Hubbard earned his first UFC win over the weekend, but had a frightening health scare afterward.
The lightweight fighter is currently in a Richmond, British Columbia, hospital with an affliction called compartment syndrome, according to his teammate and UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes, who is with him.
After Hubbard's win over Kyle Prepolec at UFC Vancouver on Saturday, Hubbard passed out in a hotel elevator and had to be rushed to Richmond Hospital, Blaydes said Monday on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show.
The pressure in Hubbard's leg built up to dangerous levels, which led to him fainting. Doctors had to cut the right leg open to reduce the pressure. Hubbard posted a graphic photo on Instagram of the leg.
"Well not exactly the way I wanted to spend my night celebrating," Hubbard wrote. "Had to have surgery last night due to the swelling in my leg was so bad it make me pass out which then I was taken to the hospital and had to have my leg cut open to relieve the swelling."
Blaydes said it was a "freak accident" and UFC doctors told him it was the first instance of compartment syndrome in the promotion's 26-year history. Hubbard was kicked in the leg by Prepolec multiple times, but Blaydes said Hubbard has dealt with worse in training and doctors were not sure of the exact cause. Plus, leg kicks are common in MMA fights generally.
"It's like when you go to the grocery store and you pick up a watermelon and you feel how tight it is, that's how his upper leg felt," Blaydes said. "It was hard."
On Monday, Hubbard was having another procedure to close and stitch up his leg and get a skin graft. Blaydes said the best-case scenario is they leave the hospital Wednesday. If the leg is still giving Hubbard issues, then he'll have to stay until Friday. Hubbard won't know for a few weeks, until after swelling goes down, how this will affect his MMA future.
"It was pretty scary, but thankfully everything was able to be taken care of in a timely manner," Blaydes said. "And we're just expecting him to make a full recovery now."
Hubbard (11-3) beat Prepolec by unanimous decision on the UFC Vancouver prelims. The Illinois native bounced back from a UFC debut loss to Davi Ramos in May. Hubbard, 27, has won four out of his last five fights overall.