Bellator heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov recently admitted that he tried to contract COVID-19 in order “to feel what it is like.”
Kharitonov made this shocking admission in a recent Instagram post, adding that he believes soaking oneself in cold water is an adequate way of staving off the virus.
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Смой коронавирус ледяной водой!!! Только вперёд!!! @bellatormma @ufc @bellatorkb @ufceurope @m1global @zharafight #bottlecapchallenge #камчатка #коронавирус #coronavirusitaly #corona #coronavirusitalianews #хабаровск#екатеринбург#спорт#подготовка#сборы#америка#россия#европа#украина#казахстан#беллорусия#минск#команда#Тольковперединешагуназад#самбо#дзюдо#армейскийрукопашныйбой#универсальныйбой#бокс#кикбоксинг#грекоримскаяборьба#вольнаяборьба#слававдв#победа2020
“Even if someone nearby coughs, I’m not particularly afraid of this,” Kharitonov said (translated by RT). “I even admit honestly that when I was in Moscow, I went to places where people cough. I wanted to try to get this coronavirus myself, to feel what it is like, what kind of virus it is.
“Unfortunately or fortunately, that did not happen,” he added. “Apparently my immune system works.”
Kharitonov has previously expressed his belief that the coronavirus pandemic is being overblown, stating in a recent Instagram post that “more people will die at the hands of criminals and starvation than from coronavirus.”
While Kharitonov is certainly entitled to his opinions, it’s worth noting that several professional fighters — despite being the picture of good health— have been absolutely wrecked by the virus.
Former UFC welterweight Sergio Moraes, for example, recently referred to COVID-19 as the toughest opponents he’s ever faced.
So, while numerous people such as Sergei Kharitonov doubt the severity of the virus, it does not seem to discriminate. While pro athletes are perhaps less vulnerable to the virus generally, they are certainly not immune.
Sergei Kharitonov last fought in February when he knocked out Fernando Rodrigues Jr. at a regional show in Minsk. Prior to that, he was defeated by Linton Vassell via TKO in the Bellator cage. The Russian veteran holds notable wins over the likes of Matt Mitrione, Roy Nelson, Roy Nelson, Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, and Pedro Rizzo.
What are your thoughts on his recent comments about the coronavirus pandemic?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/6/2020.