UFC welterweight veteran Matt Brown believes he had COVID-19.
Brown was expected to take on Miguel Baeza at UFC on ESPN 8, which was scheduled for March 28 but was ultimately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Before this card, he battled a bout of illness which he suspects could have been COVID-19.
“Yeah it was crazy, because I think I might have had coronavirus,” Brown told MMA Junkie. “I was definitely ultra sick, like the sickest I’d ever been in my life. I was a different sick than I had ever been. I was sick for a whole month and then I was just starting to get good, and you start hearing about the coronavirus (and) start hearing about the card potentially getting canceled, so I was just starting to get into my groove of training again.
“I had a whole month where it was just a complete mess, trying to get to the gym. Just kind of everyday thinking to myself, do I go train through the sickness or do I keep resting and try to recover from it? Then, finally, I said I was feeling good. I don’t know, maybe it was corona, maybe not, but I was certainly extremely sick for a long time so it turned into a real nightmare trying to get back into training and then not even knowing if I needed to train. But I pretty much train all the time, so it wasn’t a huge problem one way or another.”
If Matt Brown did in fact catch the coronavirus, he’s far from the first member of the MMA community to experience it. UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem believes he caught it in Thailand, while former UFC fighters Erick Silva and Roger Gracie have both shared harrowing tales of their battles with the virus. Suffice it to say that this virus doesn’t just prey on the elderly and the immunocompromised.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/20/2020.