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UFC’s Dana White steps in to save Phuket baby

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has agreed to cover the cost of a liver transplant for Phuket baby Tuptim Jadngooluem.

Ray Elbe runs the mixed martial arts (MMA) program at Tiger Muay Thai in Chalong, where the girl’s father, former World Muay Thai world champion Rattanachai Jadngooluem, is an instructor.

Mr Elbe told the Phuket Gazette, “[I have ] Just received confirmation that Dana White is the reason for the season.

“Monday morning he will have his assistant contact Grainne Farrell of [Phuket-based medical toursim company] Lotus Medical to make arrangements for the payment of the liver transplant operation.

“Thailand is a beautiful country and this story is an amazing example of how good things happen for good people. Rattanachai deserved to have someone step up in his time of need,” he added.

Frantic fund raising has been underway to cover the cost of the life-saving operation for seven-month-old Tuptim (click here for our previous story).

Over US$10,000 has been raised to date. The total cost of the operation is around US$50,000, but now Mr White and the UFC are to step in to make up the difference.

Several top UFC fighters, including Jon Fitch, Jake Shields and Phil Baroni, have trained at Tiger Muay Thai.

The training camp’s connection with UFC also includes Elbe appearing on The Ultimate Fighter, a reality TV series run by the UFC.

— James Goyder

 

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