Something was telling Wilfredo Santiago that his body was not 100%.
“In my last four or five fights I missed weight like four times,” said Santiago. “I never knew what was going on. I knew something was wrong.”
Something was wrong, but the Jackson and Wink trained MMA fighter ignored the warning signs.
“You know that tough guy mentality is like we’ll be alright, we’ll be alright, just a non-stop go, go, go, go,” said Santiago. “One day I couldn’t take it no more.”
Santiago found out he was sick and had been for months.
“When the test came back it revealed I had a staph infection, strep and a couple of things in my stomach area,” said Santiago. “It wasn’t good.”
Santiago took antibiotics for a month and watched his diet. He usually is around 200 pounds, but weight loss from the illness has changed things.
Santiago, who last fought at 185, is now fighting at 170 pounds. That is what he will do Friday when he faces Jared Gooden out of Atlanta, Georgia. Godden has a 13-3 record while Santiago will take a 9-6 mark into the octagon.
“My opponent, from my understanding, he’s a good dude,” said Santiago. “He has a good record. He’s been on Titan FC. He’s been around the block a lot. It’s going to take a special person to beat me that night. I can put that out there now.”
Jackson Wink Fight Night 5 is at Isleta Resort and Casino Friday night. The first fight is at 7 p.m.