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  • "Unfortunately there are people who do not believe in Christmas," UFC fighter Alex Oliveira told reporters. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 December 2018

"I left my house to refuel my mom's car when everything happened," said Brazil’s martial arts UFC fighter, Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira.

Brazil’s Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, a martial arts fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is recovering after a grenade attack in Tres Rios, Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday night, local media reports.

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A holiday visit home sent the Brazilian UFC fighter to the hospital on Christmas eve after an altercation outside a gas station, drew Oliveira and his family members into harm’s way.

Oliveira said, "I left my house to refuel my mom's car when everything happened.

“A guy approached and pointed a gun at my nephew's face, and that's when people started to push themselves. They had machetes, knives… they threw a grenade in my direction, and the fragments flew to my leg and my foot... unfortunately there are people who do not believe in Christmas," he said.

A welterweight wrestler was transferred to a local hospital to remove shrapnel fragments from his leg and foot before being released to make a statement with the police. No arrests have been reported as of yet, local media said.

On Twitter, Oliveira’s manager, Alex Davis, wrote, “Having a grenade explode near you but only getting a few shrapnel splinters is a lucky day!"

Oliveira is no stranger to pain. After his last match in Toronto, Canada, on Dec. 8, the Brazilian fighter needed nearly 40 stitches following his unfortunate loss to Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson. However, the loss hardly touched his nearly spotless record which shows 19 wins out of the season’s 25 fights.

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