Las Vegas, NV- Pre-fight stories can be pretty wild but none come close to what UFC Vegas 33’s Bryan Barberena faced in an intense brush with death.
During a sparring session preparing for the Daniel Rodriguez fight, Barberena took what he thought was a basic body kick but turned out to be something much more serious.
“I was training for the Daniel Rodriguez fight. Actually it was the Friday, the last training day before I head to Vegas. I was doing my sparring rounds, got kicked in the first practice round and, you know, wasn’t crazy hard or anything like that. Just kept going and finished my rounds. Did great, hung out for a while to talk to the guys and then it was time for me to head home which is a four-and-a-half hour drive,” Barberena explained.
“Was driving and I started to have some stomach pain and was telling my wife because I was talking to her on the phone. She’s like ‘Well i’ll come get you if you want to just pull over so you don’t even have to worry about it.’ I was like, ‘Oh no, I’ll make it, I’ll be fine. I’ll rest up and be good to fight next week.’ All of the sudden I started tingling everywhere from my head to my toes. Sweating like crazy like I just got done with a session. All of the sudden my vision went out. I was on the highway and I’m telling her I was like ‘Oh my gosh my vision went out I can’t see, I can’t see!’”
After his wife told him to pull over, Barberena was able to feel his way to the side of the highway and come to a stop. He was able to avoid hitting other drivers and causing an accident. His wife was able to call for an ambulance since his vision was still gone.
She was unable to get through to anyone to send help for Barberena and things seemed dire.
“Luckily my vision came back. I called the ambulance, pulled off the highway into a parking lot that happened to be a church parking lot. The ambulance came and got me. My wife had to talk me into getting into the ambulance,” Barberena said.
Turns out Barberena was worried about the cost of the ride to the hospital and was ready to drive himself there instead. His wife prevailed over him and he rode the ambulance to the emergency room.
After some initial hesitancy by the hospital staff to get him help right away Barberena began to experience even more symptoms that made his situation even more dire.
“I started having other symptoms while I was sitting in the wheelchair. I felt like I was going to pass out. All I could get out was ‘Help me, help me please, something’s wrong, help me!’ Luckily the nurse was right there with me. So they took me back right away and the doctor came right up to me.”
After explaining to the doctor what happened in practice the ER staff performed an ultrasound and wheeled him right into emergency surgery.
Barberena (15-7) takes on Jason Witt (18-7) in the first fight on the main card of UFC Vegas 33.
Watch and listen to Barberena tell his story in it’s entirety above! Keep it on CagesidePress.com for more from UFC Vegas 33.