Cheyanne Vlismas emerged with a unanimous decision win over Mallory Martin and a ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus to go along with it last night at UFC On ESPN 31, then revealed that she’d been battling Covid when she had first been contacted about the short-notice fight 18 days ago.
“The COVID really messed me up, I was a COVID patient just two weeks ago,” Buys said at the post-fight press conference. “If I didn’t have my coaches who believed in me, my best friend, and my parents, then I wouldn’t be here. And the power of believing in myself.”
“When I got the fight, I was coughing up a lung, I was quarantined in my house. I didn’t know if I was going to heal. But I believe in my skill, I believe in me, I believe in my coaches and my team. I just called them, and they’re like ‘let’s do it.’”
Vlismas says that her Covid infection was bad enough that at one stage she couldn’t breathe and so it was a daunting struggle to get in fight shape before the bout.
“It wasn’t easy. It was not easy, let me tell you that. Let me tell you, I was gassing within like two minutes. It was nerve-wracking, but [my friend] just looked and me and just kept telling me ‘Cheyanne, you were in shape before this fight, Cheyanne, just believe in yourself, you can do this, you can push through, we’ve just got to get your lungs right.’”
Vlismas also refused to talk about personal struggles that she was also going through in the lead-up to the fight, but the fact that she switched her name from Buys (the surname of her husband and fellow fighter JP Buys) back to her maiden name Vlismas beforehand suggests all was not well.
Nevertheless, after this big win she now seems to be getting her life back on track.
“when I woke up today, I woke up in tears. I was just so happy to be here. Just don’t ever let anyone or anything ever stop you from just making yourself happy and living your dream.”