UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has spoken out about his personal battle with Covid-19, which resulted in him being hospitalized.
Currently No.3 on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list and looking indestructable in the Octagon so far, the 32-year-old Australian soon realized that Covid-19 was a formidable foe as his initially mild symptoms started to gradually become much worse.
“I started feeling it in the lungs a little bit, and I started feeling uncomfortable,” Volkanovski says in a new YouTube video. “I started coughing up phlegm, and it was coming up pinky bloody with a bit of blood in there, and I was lucky I had (Jordan Sullivan) with The Fight Dietitian and he knows a bit, so I was like, ‘What’s this?’ and he’s like, ‘That’s usually the lungs and things like that.’ That’s when I thought maybe we should start looking into this. I was having bad fevers and headaches, but that’s sort of common. So I started talking with him about it, and that’s when I was thinking maybe we need a check up.”“This whole COVID thing is no joke. That’s why I wanted to do this video. Again, everyone is going to have their thoughts, but a lot of people were asking me how it was like getting symptoms, and now you guys aware. The symptoms got pretty wild. We got the normal symptoms, and they can lead to other things. So I got the normal symptoms that led me to pneumonia and other problems. It got pretty serious.
“I think if I was unhealthy, maybe I would’ve got other problems, and you can see how people pass away and things like that. This is quite serious. I’ve always taken it seriously, but know I understand it’s very unpredictable and very, very contagious because, again, it’s something that got in and got a few members of the team, so it was a crazy experience, but we’re all good. I’m no longer contagious, so I can go out and about, which is good. And yeah, so now we just want to get home.”
It’s certainly sobering to hear what top-flight athletes like Volkanovski, Khamzat Chimaev and Cody Garbrandt have gone through during their struggles with coronavirus, and thankfully for the Aussie champ’s health he won’t be getting rushed back into the Octagon too quickly after his ordeal as he’s now going to be coaching The Ultimate Fighter opposite Brian Ortega first, before they then lock horns in the Octagon later in the year.
Watch Volkanovski’s full video talking about his experience with Covid-19 below.