“Why Is One of Your Fighters Having to Beg for 80K?” – UFC World Lashes Out at Dana White as Josiah Harell’s Rare Brain Diseases Forces Him to Undergo 8 Hour Surgery

Published 01/24/2024, 7:51 AM EST

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The combat sports community had started the year off with sad news over the career-ending injury suffered by one of Conor McGregor’s teammates, Ryan Curtis. This has now been followed by another tragic news of a young MMA prospect going through brain surgery.

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Newly signed fighter, Josiah Harrel was diagnosed with a brain disease leading to his fight against Jack Della Maddalena back in July 2023. Josiah Harrell is one of the hottest prospects coming out from the US. The welterweight currently holds an undefeated record of 7-0, with all 7 fights coming by way of knockout. His impressive run led him into a contract with Jack Della Maddalena back in July 2023.

This, however, was put on hold as the undefeated welterweight found out that he was diagnosed with a rare brain disease called Moyamoya. UFC journalist Ariel Helwani recently took to Twitter to give an update on the welterweight’s condition.


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Josiah Harell’s latest health update

Harrell was supposed to get brain surgery however, things were stalled due to the hospital asking 80k up front to continue with the surgery. The fighter started a GoFundMe to ask for support to raise money for the surgery as the UFC insurance did not cover the expenses. However, journalist Ariel Helwani revealed that Harrell had surgery this morning.

In the tweet, Helwani wrote, “Josiah Harrell, the fighter who signed to fight JDM on short notice in July but was then ruled out due to a rare brain disease that was revealed during the pre-fight MRI, just had surgery on his brain. The operation, I’m told, took 8 hours. He’ll be in the ICU for a bit, which has obviously paused his fighting and work career.”


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Given the situation the welterweight prospect was in, fans felt sorry for the young MMA fighter. And a lot of fans questioned Dana White and the UFC over their negligence to help a fighter from their promotion.

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Fans lash out at Dana White after a recent tweet by Helwani

Ariel Helwani’s tweet garnered a lot of attention from the MMA community. After finding out that the UFC failed to cover the cost of the surgery, some fans called out the promotion and Dana White.

A user questioned Dana White why his fighters have to beg him for 80k while he gambles with way more money than the said amount.

Another fan was saddened by the fact that Harrell had to pay 80k upfront to the hospital to get his surgery done.

One user claimed that he felt disappointed that the UFC didn’t cover their employees’ surgery cost

Another fan tagged Dana White in the post telling him to help the fighter

The Coach of the young fighter thanked Helwani for sharing Harrell’s story

One fan sarcastically remarked that Dana would’ve paid 70k to the fighter if he was a part of the Nelk boys


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Another fan took a jab at Dana White for not helping his employee


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Despite the circumstances, Josaih Harrell managed to undergo the surgery. All fans need to do now is pray that the young MMA prospect can make a full recovery.

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Written by:

Imtikokba Jamir


One take at a time

As someone who's spent his childhood experiencing combat sports firsthand, I have always been in awe of the action in the cage. Post a Degree with Honors in Literature, I quickly realised my penmanship needed some gloves. So here I am , Imtikokba Jamir, a pro writer for UFC at EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Ruth John




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