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On the Cusp of Quitting, Soa Palelei Storms Back into the UFC Despite Broken Ribs

Posted on by Andrew Potter

Sao Palelei vs Eddie Sanchez UFC 79Six years after his unsuccessful UFC debut, Soa “The Hulk” Palelei returned to the Octagon, picking up his first UFC victory despite carrying broken ribs through his fight with Nikita Krylov at UFC 164.

“This return is something that I’ve been waiting on for a long time,” Palelei said. “That kid was tough, but I wasn’t going to let that early shot to the rib slow me down and ruin my return to the UFC. Winning makes all the pain go away, anyway.”

Palelei injured his ribs during his first training session after arriving in the States. Doctors told him there wasn’t much he could do about it, so the Perth fighter battled on, but was severely hampered by the injury.

He revealed that Krylov caught him with a knee early in the fight and he heard his ribs crack, which caused him to gas.

In between rounds one and two, Palelei was wanting to quit on his stool, but his corner wouldn’t let him. He continued to fight, eventually getting the TKO stoppage in round three with both fighters gassed.

“I didn’t want to quit or pull out because I’ve got a lot of support behind me and everyone was looking forward to the win,” he said on the UFC post-fight show on Fox Sports 2. “I knew if I got a top (position), I could keep that and let the clock run down, but I’m glad the way it happened.

“From here, I’ll give it a good rest and get back into it.”

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  • Darin

    I’ve never see two dudes falling asleep during a fight, that was awesome.

    • Milosc

      Try walking from your chair to the refrigerator with a broken rib, sport

      • Advance*

        What was Krylov’s excuse then?

    • leo

      yeah i agree it was very funny watching these guys cuddle each other. haha

  • julian moran

    ¨”Storms back into the UFC”, might be an over statement.

  • Mcgiggity

    I want to see the hulk fight again. People who have never been in a fight or have never fought for fifteen minutes hard don’t realize that in a fight you never know what will happen. An injury that is not visible can greatly affect the outcome of a fight. Separately, sometimes you just have a bad night. I’ve had bad performances against guys when I had the shits and was hungover or whatever, then rematched when I’m feeling good and won decisively.

    If he looks gassed like he did vs krylov in his next fight, IMO that will be a better indication of his conditioning than a fight he came into with a broken rib.

  • Advance*

    I give him credit for fighting through it but it certainly did look like he was trying to quit. He kept trying to tell the ref or doctor that his rib was broken and it was his corner that wouldn’t let him quit. He said it like 5 times after the second round and they kept telling the ref he’s fine. He still went out there to fight but I can’t help but think with a different corner he might have stopped.