Grant Dawson was set to make his first television and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) debut but ended up getting foiled by the hot tub he was sitting in to cut weight just days before the fight.
Dawson (7-0), who trains at Victory MMA, was at Prairie Life Fitness in Lincoln, Nebraska, early last week attempting to cut weight for his scheduled fight on Friday, Sept. 25. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to weigh-in, according to mmafighting.com.
Part of his regimen was soaking in the hot tub water for 45-minute intervals. After a couple hours in and out of the hot water he began to feel the sensation of his skin burning right off of him and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital.
“It was probably the most pain I’ve felt in my life,” Dawson said. “It really felt like something was eating my skin and it was bad.”
The doctors told him he suffered from first-degree burns and a condition called hot tub folliculitis, which is essentially an inflammation of hair follicles.
The 21-year-old’s team members were able to convince him to pull out of the upcoming fight, as it would be almost impossible to safely cut the necessary weight and still have a reasonable chance at winning. He was set to fight fellow undefeated brawler Clay Wimer (5-0), according to the industry source combatpress.com.
“People know that I’m not a pull-out-of-fights kind of guy,” Dawson said. “I almost feel like it’s a loss, kind of. I feel weird about the whole situation and I just want to get back in there as fast as possible.”
Dawson alleges that the levels of chlorine in the hot tub were so excessive it was burning the eyes of people not even in the tub but in the steam room. According to him Prairie Life offered to pay for his medical bills. However, the gym’s manager, Dan Creamer, denies that statement and told MMAfighting.com they would not be paying any sort of restitution to Dawson.
“All of our chemical levels were fine and everything like that,” Creamer said. “There’s a reason why you’re only supposed to be in the hot tub 10 to 15 minutes — not two hours.”
Regardless, the gym might want to think about using Ozone (O3) for their hot tub cleaning needs, as it’s 3,000 times more effective than chlorine without the waste by-products.
At this time, Dawson’s burns are beginning to heal, and he is expected to resume training later this week. That was his only fight he signed for with the RFA promotion, but he’s hoping they reach out to him for another opportunity soon.
“It was pretty upsetting,” Dawson said. “We put a lot of hard work into it and a lot of preparation and then just not getting to fight was not ideal.”