BARUERI, Brazil – After kidney stones forced a recent cancellation of his bout at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 29 event, Rodrigo Damm‘s days as a featherweight are likely over.
Over the weekend, Damm (11-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) was forced off the FOX Sports 1-televised card, where he was slated to fight Hacran Dias (21-2-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at Jose Correa Arena in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The culprit? Kidney stones.
As Damm’s manager, Alex Davis, told MMAjunkie.com, the fighter experienced back pain on Thursday and noticed blood in his urine on Friday. A doctor told him to take easy while they determined the issue. While kidney issues were suspected, they couldn’t rule out the possibility that a body punch simply caused a temporary problem.
“He actually got better, and we were hopeful everything would be OK,” Davis told MMAjunkie.com on Sunday. “But we double-checked to make sure and took him to his doctor, and he found out there were more stones. It was kidney stones, and there were more to come out. In that situation, if a guy is dehydrating and he starts expelling those stones, he could end up with a serious problem and need surgery or lose a kidney. So at that point, we had to stop it.”
Since Damm hadn’t seriously started his weight cut for the fight, he doesn’t believe the stones were necessarily related to a cut. However, as Davis learned during his own days as a judoka, battling kidney stones while not fully hydrated is a recipe for disaster.
“It’s not a serious problem on its own,” he said. “If you’re hydrating and expelling, that’s fine. The problem is that if you dehydrate, then everything locks up because those things can’t move around.”
And since Damm had plenty of weight to cut in time for Tuesday’s weigh-ins, they knew it was a risk they couldn’t take. Damm, a Strikeforce and World Victory Road/Sengoku vet who looked to build off a June win over Mizuto Hirota, lost an opportunity to fight in his home country, but Davis is sure they took the right course of action.
“He was really disappointed,” he said. “He trained really hard. He thought it was a good fight for him. But it’s safety first, health first. … It’s unfortunate, but the fight isn’t worth losing a kidney or having kidney problems.”
During a nine-year pro career, the 33-year-old Damm has fought everywhere from featherweight to welterweight. But following his recent run at 145 pounds, the fighter is likely to head to 155 pounds, especially if UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby support the plan.
“He’s a good fighter, and he has tons of experience,” said Davis, who wants Damm to return sooner rather than later. “I think that if Joe and Sean are positive on that (move to lightweight), it’s probably something we’d like to look into. It’d make it easier on him. He’s not going to fight for 10 years anymore, so he’ll probably end his career at 155.”
For more on UFC Fight Night 29, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.