10 MMA Stars Who Fought Back From Life-Threatening Illnesses

Diego Rivas

Chilean fighter Diego Rivas turned pro in 2011 and within the space of three years later signed for the UFC after winning five fights in a row.

Things continued to go according to plan for him when he emerged with a unanimous decision victory over Rodolfo Rubio in his promotional debut and followed it up with a flying knee KO win against Noah Ladat.

However, Rivas’ good fortune suddenly changed after a doctor’s visit for an injured knee led to the 24-year-old being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

“After the news settled in with me, I thought that my career was over,” Rivas admitted in an interview with UFC.com. “I thought nothing else was possible after my diagnosis, especially competing as an athlete.

“Honestly, I thought I was going to die.”

Instead, Rivas had the tescticle removed, underwent chemotherapy and then after making a successful recovery he returned to action in the UFC just 13 months after his last fight.

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