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Josiah Harrell removed from UFC 290 because of rare brain disease

In the end, the story of Jack Della Maddalena's trip to UFC 290 won't feature a fight.

Due to a significant medical situation on Josiah Harrell's side, Maddalena's scheduled short-notice welterweight match against Harrell was called off on Friday after UFC 290's official weigh-ins.

Harrell (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was withdrawn from the event on the eve of Saturday's show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the pinnacle of International Fight Week, for what the promotion initially referred to as a "medical issue."

Harrell's manager Maurice Blanco of First Round Management tells that his client was withdrawn due to an anomaly on a routine pre-fight brain MRI a few hours after his scheduled promotional debut against Jack Della Maddalena (14-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was postponed.

Harrell was identified by scans as having Moyamoya disease, a dangerous and uncommon condition that can result in clotting at the base of the brain. The MRI, according to Blanco, "may have saved his life," and Harrell will shortly have brain surgery.

Harrell's condition is comparable to that of Vince Murdock, a former UFC fighter who similarly had his short-notice UFC debut postponed owing to a sudden diagnosis of moyamoya.


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