MMA: UFC Ultimate Fighter finale overshadowed by life-threatening condition of heavyweight Shane Del Rosario

Del Rosario was found having suffered two heart attacks but state-of-the-art treatment has left dhim clinging onto his life

For the world of MMA, last week was supposed to be all about the build up to Saturday night’s UFC Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale in Las Vegas. After all, what an occasion it was going to be; the first time a female Ultimate Fighter was to be crowned, a fight featuring England’s own Davey Grant in the mens final and a main event that was the third part of an exhilarating trilogy.

On Tuesday however, tragedy struck. Much loved UFC Heavyweight Shane Del Rosario was found at his home by his roommate Ian McCall, having gone into full cardiac arrest after sustaining 2 heart attacks. Del Rosario was rushed to hospital where the medical team managed to resuscitate him back to having a stable heart rate. The problem, though was that Shane’s other organs had shut down and the heart revival alone was not enough to kickstart them. Things were looking bleak!

The UFC utilises social media as a marketing tool unlike any other sports franchise in existence. As such, fans immediately took to Twitter preparing themselves for the worst. Over the next couple of days rumours began to surface suggesting Shane had passed away. ESPN reported the death on Thursday night, confirming what MMA fans everywhere had dreaded. UFC President, Dana White tweeted “RIP Shane Del Rosario”, and surely that was now that… Only fortunately, it wasn’t.

On Friday, word spread through Shane’s manager and training partners that he was in fact. still clinging on to his life, albeit by a thread. ESPN swiftly retracted the report from the night before.

The prognosis did not look good, but the medical team had performed a state of the art treatment on Shane. This involved inflicting a therapeutic hypothermia in the hope of kick starting the other organs. Whilst the results of this weren't immediately visible, a 72 hour time frame was given to allow the therapy to work.

Hour after hour went by with no news and the “Twittersphere“ held its breath. Saturday morning brought that wait to an end. Training partner, Erik Apple, finally provided some good news. Shane had started breathing on his own and had even squeezed his mother’s hand; a sign of brain activity.

As Saturday night came around, it was time for the Ultimate Fighter Season 18 Finale, with the UFC and its fans able to enjoy the show. Though Del Rosario was on everyone’s mind, there was now some hope.

On the night, Davey Grant missed out on becoming the UK’s 5th Ultimate Fighter. He was comfortable on the feet but faced a Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt in Chris Holdsworth. Sure enough when the fight finally went to the mat, Holdsworth submitted Davey by rear-naked choke. Davey performed well throughout the TUF season and has an exciting future in MMA.

Following the mens bout, Juliana Pena became the first ever women’s Ultimate Fighter, finishing 8 time boxing world champion Jessica Rakoczy with 1 second left in the first round.

In the main event, a seemingly rejuvenated Nate Diaz defeated the favoured Gray Maynard by 1st round TKO.

Another successful night for the UFC in their greatest year to date, yet the mood was somber. Those fortunate enough to be a part of the MMA community whether UFC employees, fighters, fans or journalists were still aware of the real fight happening that night in a hospital in California.

The odds still don’t look good for Shane, but he is a fighter with an iron will and he is not alone. Shane is being spurred on by the weight of a fiercely loyal MMA community. It's a community that has defied the odds for 20 years and continues to do so. We all wish Shane Del Rosario a full and speedy recovery.

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'