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Diverticulitis won't defeat me, says UFC champ Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Brock Lesnar says diverticulitis will not defeat him. In this 2009 image, Lesnar puts a hurting on UFC fighter Frank Mir.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) He's a monster in the ring, but UFC fighter Brock Lesnar is now forced to fight a wily opponent - the intestinal disease diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis is characterized by "small, bulging sacs or pouches of the inner lining of the intestine that become inflamed or infected," according to PubMed. "Most often, these pouches are in the large intestine."

It's not the first time Lesnar has gone to the mat against the disease. He suffered from an attack two years ago, but says this time is not as bad. A "bump in the road," he called it.

Many people have the disease and don't know it, but for others the symptoms, including tenderness in the lower side of the abdomen, bloating, gas, fever, chills, nausea and loss appetite, can be debilitating. In rare cases, there is blood in the stool.

The underlying causes aren't clear, although a low-fiber diet is suspected. More than half of Americans over the age of 60 may have the bulging sacks in the intestines associated with the disease, but far fewer gain the infections - typically from stool - that can make the disease so painful.

In extreme cases, the disease can cause tears in the colon or fistulas that might require surgery. When attacks strike, the solution is often bed rest, lots of fluids and pain pills (although be careful since some can cause constipation). Sometimes antibiotics are used as well.

When a patient feels better, a diet high in fiber and low in coffee, tea and alcohol is recommended. Also certain foods are on the no go list including: beans, tomatoes, strawberries, course grains, corn, peas, dried fruits, fruit and vegetables skins, pickles and cucumbers.

As for Lesnar, he says he is withdrawing from next month's heavyweight title fight against Junior Dos Santos, but he's not leaving UFC without a fight.