Brazilian heavyweight Geronimo dos Santos granted UFC release


Two years after signing a contract with the UFC, Geronimo dos Santos is no longer on the UFC roster.

"Mondragon" signed with the promotion in 2012 to compete at the UFC 153 card in Rio de Janeiro against former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga, but he was removed from the card after his pre-fight medical exams indicated he had hepatitis B.

Two years have passed and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) won’t clear him to compete yet, so he asked to be released from his UFC contract.

"I’m healed, thank God, but my immunity is still low," dos Santos told Tatame. "It takes a long time to be right back up, and I was losing money, because I couldn’t fight during the treatment, even if I’m already healed. The Nevada Athletic Commission is very strict, and I’m not cleared to fight until my immune system is back to normal. I want to fight again, but I couldn’t do anything here since I had an exclusive contract with them."

Back in June, dos Santos’ manager Alex Davis explained to MMAFighting.com why the NAC wouldn’t let him fight.

"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. 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" already has four fights scheduled from September to November in Brazil. With a 33-14 record and riding an 11-fight win streak, the heavyweight hopes to return to the UFC one day.

"Making my UFC debut in this situation would be too much for me," he said. "It’s going to be different now, because I will be fighting and my immune system will be back up soon, so I will be better again. I don’t have anything to lose. I’m 33, but I won’t quit my dream of fighting in the UFC."

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