Blood infection floors victorious Aussie star
Aussie UFC fighter Alex Volkanovski has been hospitalised in Chile after contracting a virus only hours after winning the biggest fight of his career.
News Corp Australia can reveal Volkanovski, who defeated Brazilian legend Jose Aldo at UFC 237 in Rio, fell ill on the first leg of his flight home to Sydney.
The Wollongong fighter is now in a Santiago hospital being treated for a blood infection.
Incredibly, the father-of-two got sick around the same time as UFC officials revealed he would not be next in line for a shot at UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway.
Despite beating Aldo, the No.1 contender, in his own backyard, UFC matchmakers are giving the next title shot to American Frankie Edgar instead.
While disappointed with the decision, Volkanovski's manager Rhys Dal Cin said on Tuesday night his only concern right now was the health of his fighter.
Upon leaving Brazil on Monday afternoon, the 30-year-old started complaining of sore feet and feeling unwell, with redness in his left foot.
His condition worsened during the flight.
Volkanovski then started to suffer a fever as well as swelling of both his foot and leg.
After landing in Chile, the fighter was assessed by an airport doctor and then admitted straight to hospital for further testing.
The ordeal comes only hours after the Aussie celebrated the biggest win of his professional career, convincingly defeating future Hall of Famer Aldo via unanimous decision.
Despite being an underdog with Las Vegas bookmakers, Volkanovski won all three rounds clearly, scoring 30-27 with all three judges.
Despite the performance, it was announced on Tuesday that UFC featherweight champ Holloway would now fight Edgar at UFC 240 in Canada in July.
Dal Cin reported that his client was in "good spirits" however a release date from hospital has not yet been determined.
Speaking with News Corp Australia immediately after his fight, Volkanovski had not only called for a fight with Holloway, but asked that it be put on the same upcoming Australian card as UFC middleweight champ Robert Whittaker, who fights New Zealander Israel Adesanya later this year.
"Mate, it feels incredible," Volkanovski said only minutes after the win.
"I mean, I've just beaten one of the greatest featherweights of all time. This will open all sorts of doors for me."
Quizzed on a title fight, he continued: "When it comes to me fighting Max Holloway, yeah, let's get it sorted.
"And on the same Australian card as Rob and Israel Adesanya.
"I mean, can you imagine it?
"Having those two title fights in Australia ... it would be a cracker."
Volkanovski, who is now undefeated in all seven Octagon appearances, added that he would be ready to go "straight away".
"I've got a couple and bumps and bruises from the fight," he said.
"Mainly from me kicking him (Aldo).
"But I'm ready to go whenever.
"Let's get it done."
While UFC 243 has been one date discussed by UFC officials, it would fall on the same date as the NRL Grand Final if held in Australia.