As excuses for pulling out of fights go they don’t get much better than a flesh eating virus. That is exactly what prevented AJ McKee from facing Patricky Freire at Rizin x Bellator 2 this weekend.

McKee has also been forced to withdraw from the Bellator lightweight Grand Prix but judging from these photos he didn’t have much choice. The American has been suffering from a staph infection and has two holes in his knee:

Stepping in

It isn’t the worst staph infection we have seen this year. That dubious honour goes to Australian mixed martial artist Tim Schultz who nearly lost a leg after suffering a similar infection in Phuket.

But it is clear that McKeee could not have competed at Rizin x Bellator 2 this weekend, not that opponent would exactly have been queuing up to face an opponent suffering from a potentially infections flesh eating virus.

Stepping in to replace him at just a few days notice is Roberto de Souza. He has the opportunity to earn a spot in the semi finals of the Bellator lightweight Grand Prix.


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Former champion

In order to earn it de Souza will have to get past former Bellator lightweight champion Patricky Freire. The reigning Rizin lightweight champion already has a loss to McKee on his record.

De Souza dropped a decision to McKee at Rizin x Bellator 1. He will be looking to put on a better performance for the American fans who will be watching on Showtime.

McKee has been installed as an alternate for the tournament. So if any of the semi finalists get injured he will be ready to step in and replace them.

But the American will need to wait for his staph infection to heal. He explained his absence this weekend to fight fans on Twitter telling them that,

“I’m sorry but I won’t be fighting this weekend in Japan. We will be back in Japan I promise you that, I ended up catching staph, a really bad infection, flesh eating. I had to go to the ER, I’m on antibiotics and it’s healing up well. Couple of little holes in my knee but we’re going to come back better than ever.”