Ilir Latifi had to go through the ringer to get his hand raised for the first time since December 2018.
Latifi (15-8 MMA, 8-6 UFC) snapped a three-fight losing skid this past Saturday when he edged Tanner Boser (19-8-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) by split decision in their heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night 189 in Las Vegas.
It was a razor-close fight and one where Latifi was apparently operating while heavily compromised in multiple areas. He was taken to hospital post-fight and did not speak to the media, but after being released from the hospital, he shared some of the details around his experience.
According to Latifi, he suffered a pair of fractures to one of his arms in the first round against Boser, then was subsequently poked in the eye in the second round, badly affecting his vision.
“The sport is pretty crazy and it’s very hard to prepare for what can happen in a fight,” Latifi wrote on Instagram. “Early in the first round I fractured my arm in two places (and) in the second round I got a nasty eye poke that blinded me in that eye. We found the will to push through that and get the win.”
Latifi’s push to the final bell despite his injuries may have saved his UFC career. The 37-year-old had his longest break ever between fights going into UFC Fight Night 189, and he needed to bring his skid to an end.
The Swede did just that, outworking Boser just enough to get the nod in what was his first octagon victory since moving up to the heavyweight division.
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