Geoff Neal revealed on Sunday that he had been hospitalized for several days dealing with a near life-or-death situation, which obviously forced him to drop out of his upcoming fight against Neil Magny on Aug. 29.
In his place steps former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, who has agreed to face Magny at upcoming card being held at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Multiple sources close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Sunday following an initial report from MMA DNA.
Neal took to Instagram to detail his recent medical scare just a matter of days after agreeing to face Magny in August
“It’s really hard to try to find an eloquent way to say ‘I almost died.’ So screw it.. I almost died,” Neal wrote. “This really put a lot of things into perspective for me. Never did I ever think I would be hooked up to a dialysis machine before my 30s.
“Everything was going well for me. Was training everyday, making money at work, just signed a contract for a huge fight, then BOOM, life hit me with a check hook. I’m just glad to be home after having to spend 1 week in the ICU. Stay healthy out there y’all and listen to your body at all times.”
With Neal sidelined, Lawler has accepted the fight on short notice.
The former champion hasn’t fought since August 2019 when he dropped his third fight in a row via a unanimous decision to Colby Covington but he had been recently looking to return to action when this opportunity came up.
Now he’ll look to get back on track while facing off with Magny, who has won back-to-back fights against Anthony Rocco Martin and Li Jingliang.
The upcoming UFC event on Aug. 29 is still without a main event as well after Yair Rodriguez suffered an injury in training that knocked him out of his scheduled fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov. At this time there’s still no word on who will headline the show.