UFC bantamweight Geraldo de Freitas, who was supposed to fight at UFC London, admits he was afraid of fighting at the event during the coronavirus pandemic but needed to fight in order to earn his purse.
De Freitas was set to fight Jack Shore in a battle of 135lbs prospects on the UFC London undercard until the card was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. That leaves de Freitas without the opportunity to make any money. For a fighter on the lowest rung of the UFC’s salary scale, the loss of his fight really stings.
While other fighters have taken to social media to say they aren’t scared because they are warriors and fighting is what they do, de Freitas isn’t going along with the crowd. Speaking to Bloody Elbow, he admitted he was afraid and worried about fighting at UFC London during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I was really worried, I was afraid of going, getting infected and having that affect my performance. If I had gotten infected while there, maybe there would not be time for it to get detected and it could have affected my performance. We are high-performance athletes, every little thing makes a difference for us. If you’re starting to come down with something before a fight, that can really hinder your performance,” de Freitas said about fighting at UFC London.
“I was very worried about that, I bought a mask, I bought sanitizers, but it was to no avail.”
Having said that, de Freitas said he still would have done it because he needed the money.
“I still want to fight right now, because we need that. It’s how we make a living. If you don’t fight, you don’t get paid. We wanted to fight in any way possible,” de Freitas said.
De Freitas said the UFC contacted him about fighting at the rescheduled UFC London event at a reservation in Oklahoma, but with no U.S. visa that was not an option. This means that De Freitas is currently out of a paycheck and he has no idea if the UFC will pay him. The promotion has not made an announcement yet about paying the fighters who lost their bouts at UFC London, UFC Columbus, and UFC Portland, putting fighters like de Freitas in a terrible financial situation.
Do you think more fighters that were set to fight at UFC London will take the lead of Geraldo de Freitas and admit being afraid of fighting at the event?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/17/2020.