Brazilian featherweight star Marlon Sandro has not endured an ideal end to his 2010 campaign.
On December 30, he was unable to defend his Sengoku featherweight title when he dropped a unanimous decision to challenger Hatsu Hioki.
The bout headlined the SRC: Soul of Fight event in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday.
It was a disappointing finish in a year where he was 2-0 with two brutal knockouts in a combined 47 seconds leading up to the meeting with Hioki.
In an interview Friday morning with Sandro’s coach and Nova Uniao head trainer Andre Pederneiras, he revealed there was plenty of reason to worry heading into the bout.
“Marlon had a big infection in his right hand," he said. "The doctors said to him not to fight. He couldn’t punch or grapple with his right hand for 20 days, but he decided to fight because it was the main event. He knows Sengoku needed him to do a great show.”
The fight itself was an entertaining, but one-sided affair in which Hioki clearly established his reach advantage, superior cardio and submission grappling prowess.
“He (Sandro) tried to finish the fight in the first round because he knew if the fight went longer it was not good for him,” said Pederneiras. “Hioki fought a great fight and won this match. Now Marlon wants a rematch with his hand 100 percent.”
Of course, that is assuming Hioki didn’t just punch his ticket to a greener pasture in the UFC.
Note: Pederneiras did not comment when asked if any further injury was sustained by Sandro during the Hioki fight.
Derek Bolender is a freelance MMA writer who has contributed to outlets such as CBSSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, and MMAmania.com (in addition to BleacherReport.com). Follow him on Twitter at @DerekBolender.