MMA News

Thursday, 12/22/2011, 04:30 pm

From The Big Show to A Wheelchair: WEC’s Will Ribeiro Needs Your Support This Holiday Season

Three years ago WEC fighter Will Ribeiro’s life changed forever.

From the hardened streets of Brazil, Ribeiro grew up poverty stricken but with the heart of a champion and was able to ascend through the sporting world with hard work and determination.

A member of Brazil’s Olympic boxing team, he took to MMA in an attempt to make a better life for himself and his family. However, fresh off of a fight in the WEC against former champion Brian Bowles he was involved in a motorcycle accident that has left him crippled for life.

While in Brazil, Ribeiro took to the streets on his motorcycle to deliver his fight gloves to a promised fan and on his way back from fulfilling his duties he was struck from behind by a speeding car and was ejected from his motorcycle headfirst into a curb. The accident crushed his skull, it crushed his career and it made him virtually wheelchair bound for life.

The former top MMA prospect and boxing expert is now blind in one eye and paralyzed on the left side of his body.

According to reports he is lucky to even be alive to this day and if it had not been for a series of lucky circumstances he would have more than likely never made it off that Brazilian street with a pulse.

After the incident, Ribeiro’s body lay lifeless on the street and as luck would have it, a lost emergency vehicle just happened to cross his path unexpectedly. They emergency professionals where able to quickly get him to a hospital where a team of brain surgeons where readily on hand in yet another unexpected and lucky turn of events.

They saved his life.

Will was in a Coma for the next six weeks. Once awake and recovered as much as could be, he found himself alive, but surgeons where unable to remove the bone fragments in his eye, they couldn’t save his vocal chords and he was missing a huge chunk of his skull which misshaped his head.

You would think that such a trauma would slow you down, but in Ribeiro’s case it has done anything but.

He teaches boxing in his small town using a PA system to amplify his frail and almost inaudible voice to his small class of students. He works as a ringside judge for MMA events in Brazil and he is working on spreading the word and trying to build awareness around the acceptance of handicapped citizens and motorcycle safety.

Will’s medical expenses alone are too costly for him and his family to cover. He needs speech therapy for his damaged vocal chords, he needs surgery to try and repair his vision in his eye, he requires physical therapy to fight muscle atrophy and countless amounts of medication.

He receives about $313 from the Brazilian government for his disability, but his medication costs alone total $283 per month. With the other host of needs and medical expenses it’s become difficult for him to get the treatment he needs to make a solid recovery.

That is where you guys come in.

It’s been three years since Ribeiro fell off his bike in Brazil and there is no sob story, no big charity fund, just a fighter, fighting to survive and doing his part to take care of himself, his family and raise awareness about his conditions to prevent others from finding the same fate.

His family however, has a need, a need for monetary support to get Will the medical attention he needs and to help with medical costs. They haven’t set up a fancy website with a charity fund, they don’t have a big campaign budget to try and get your hard earned money. But they do accept donations which are they use 100% towards getting Will the attention he requires.

All you have to do is visit and send a payment to

So get off some cash Penn Nation if you can spare it, even if it’s only $5.00 and let’s help this family out. If you send in your address with payment, Will, will send you off an autographed photo for your help.


10 Responses to “From The Big Show to A Wheelchair: WEC’s Will Ribeiro Needs Your Support This Holiday Season”

  1. jose a says:

    This pains me to see because same thing happened to me except my left leg isn’t paralyzed only upper portion and it is a hard injury to deal with my prayers go out to him and his doesn’t get easier but your still here for q reason and that’s how you have to view life :)

  2. Big Man says:

    i tried to send money from paypal but paypal said this…”We’re sorry. We’re not able to complete personal payments to account holders in Brazil at this time.”


  3. Thom says:

    Thats really a heartbreaking story, wish him all the best

  4. e says:

    best wishes to you Will.

    and to all you riders out there.. RIDE SAFE!

  5. io31 says:

    Uhm, I ran a couple of google searches and it looks like his brother (??) had quite a bit of conflict with Soares, teamed up with someone called James Ryan (who sounds like a low level provocateur-demagogue based on skimming a couple of articles on his website) who wrote a book.

    It sounds waayy too fishy for the whole blackhouse , nogueiras, DW to have a falling out of this magnitude and abandon the guy to the point that they have no recourse but to air the dirty laundry on the net. What happened to the guy is terrible but it would be naive to act in a knee jerk fashion without finding out what exactly is happening here.

    Can someone who has more knowledge of the situation fill in the blanks please?

  6. Justin says:

    I am going to keep commenting on Pedro’s stories until he understands the difference between “were” and “where”.

    Aside from that, this is a sad story and I hope he gets the help he needs. He sounds like a good person in need of some good things to happen to him. I will pray for him and his family.

  7. TdV says:

    Protect yourself at all time! Ring any bells?
    Riding round Brazil so many people on big bikes without helmets. Cover your head at all times people.

  8. CS says:

    This article is paraphrased from the original one posted on Dec-16-2011 on MMAjunkie.
    It’s necessary to use the Purchase tab for the international donation to work (see original article).
    Also, there is a known personal dislike between Will’s brother and Will’s former management.
    The book mentioned above probably just fueled those fires.
    However, it in no way changes the fact that Will himself was gravely injured and Will is the one who will continue to need medical assistance for life.
    Everything else is fluff.

  9. stone cold says:

    bad things happen to good people. good things happen to the evil people

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