Lyman Good has become the first UFC fighter to officially confirm that he has suffered from Covid-19.
Good had been scheduled to fight Belal Muhammad on the UFC 249 event on April 18th last month, but he pulled out less than two weeks beforehand due to what he claimed at the time was an injury, but he’s now revealed the real reason.
“Although I said it was due to an injury, it was actually because I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Good told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “As soon as I found out, I let everybody know.
“It was one of those things where it wasn’t sinking in that it could’ve been that. As fighters, we’re hardwired to train through everything.
“If we catch a cold or little nagging injuries here or there, we’re trained to just pretty much fight through it.
“At first I thought it was that. But there was just one day where it was bad. My body wasn’t listening, it wasn’t responding the way it normally does to sparring.”
In the end it turned out that Good’s girlfriend and one of his coaches also tested positive for the virus, and so Good had no choice but to self-isolate and withdraw from the event, which as it turned out would be cancelled anyway due to the pandemic.
“The major contributing factor to my decision (to get tested) was the safety of the people around me. When maybe I thought there was a possibility that I have it, I figured let me just make sure that I have it or not. Also for the safety for my coaches – you know, my coach was showing up every morning to my training sessions – my teammates, my family, and everybody else. Really, what I held into account was the safety of others.”
“My real concern was really just my teammates, my coaches and anyone I was exposed to. God forbid they get it, they spread it, and someone else gets sick really bad. I would feel responsible.”
Good also spoke about why he chose not to go public with his personal battle with Covid-19 when he first found out about it.
“We didn’t wanna feed into the fear, the imminent fear that’s going on in society right now. There’s a pandemic, it is a real thing happening, but I didn’t wanna stoke the flames, so to speak, and influence the fear factor of other people,” Good said. “I just want to let everyone know I’m much better now. At the end of the day, it was a risk that we were willing to take. As a fighter, I knew what the risks were. Unfortunately it is what it is. It happened.”
Good is coming off a TKO win over Chance Rencountre in his last Octagon outing, leaving him 3-2 in the UFC so far, and now that he’s feeling better he’s eager to get back to business as soon as possible.
“I want to get back on a card. I have unfinished business. Like I said before, I’m a fighter through and through. I was out of commission for a little bit, but I’m ready to go back there.”
It’s great to hear that Good has recovered from the disease, but his story only goes to show how risky it is for the UFC to be considering hosting events during this pandemic.