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London looks like an ‘apocalyptic movie’ - UFC’s Claudio Silva on life amid pandemic

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UFC welterweight Claudio Silva details how the coronavirus has affected life in London.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Liverpool: Silvia vs Taleb Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Although the United Kingdom might be faring a bit better than others during the coronavirus pandemic, the situation is far from normal in the country, especially in its capital, as UFC welterweight Claudio Silva can tell.

A London resident for over 10 years now, Silva says he has never seen the city the same way he does now. In an interview with Combate, ‘Hannibal’ compares the deserted streets to those of an apocalyptic movie, with the police breaking up large groups of people at the same location

“Things are weird here. Streets are empty, it’s like a ghost town. You don’t see anyone on the streets, everything is closed. The only shops that are open are supermarkets and drugstores, everything else is closed. It’s flabbergasting to see. I live in one of the busiest neighborhoods and I don’t see anyone on the streets. It’s sad to see the city like this, it looks like one of those apocalyptic movies. It’s like that. You see few people at the park, but there can’t be groups of four people. When the park starts to get too crowded, the police separates everyone.”

Though Silva feels sad about the way the city is empty and nobody is allowed to stay out without a reason, he also understands the measures taken. In his personal life, friends and relatives of friends all have struggled with COVID-19, be it by losing money or by losing people who are close to them to the disease.

“Lots of friends of mine who own businesses are losing a lot of money. I also have friends who had close relatives die of COVID-19. I have four friends who lost relatives. It’s a catastrophic, absurd situation. It’s sad to see the whole city just come to a halt, other cities and countries, too. We were supposed to be locked down for just 15 days, but they extended that to three weeks. Everyone I talk to is staying optmistic, they want to go back to work, to studying, to a normal life. I hope life goes back to normal after these three weeks. It feels like house arrest. That’s how people feel.”

Undefeated in the UFC, Silva (14-1) is on a five-fight winning streak in the Octagon, with his last win being an August 2019 submission win over Cole Williams. Before that, the 37-year-old also scored victories over Danny Roberts, Nordine Taleb, Leon Edwards and Brad Scott.