UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem suspects that he probably already had the coronavirus, although he didn’t experience any symptoms of COVID-19.
Speaking on Duello Channel recently, Overeem admitted he was exposed to people with symptoms during a recent trip to Thailand, but believes that, as a finely-tuned professional athlete, he was fit enough to fend of the virus without much trouble.
“This is the time to eat healthy and be healthy, right,” Overeem said (via MMA Junkie). “It’s very good for your immune system. As an athlete, I’ve been always very obsessed with health and the immune system. That’s why I’m not really afraid of the virus.
“I’ve probably already had it,” Overeem added. “I was in Thailand during Chinese New Year. It was flooded with the Chinese and some people who were close to me had symptoms. That’s what it’s like now in the whole coronavirus discussion.”
Alistair Overeem, who is the former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 heavyweight champion, has not fought since late 2019, when he suffered a last-second knockout loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Rozenstruik replaced Overeem’s originally targeted foe Walt Harris, who was forced out of their planned matchup amid the tragic murder of his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard.
After this loss, Overeem was rebooked for a fight with Harris at UFC Portland. Unfortunately, this card was one of several to fall through due to the coronavirus pandemic. He and Harris have since been booked for a third time, this time for a fight on a May 16 card that does not currently have a location. Time will tell if the third attempt will be the charm for this matchup, or if the coronavirus pandemic will have other plans.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/14/2020.