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Aleksei Oleinik admits he was ‘afraid’ of contracting COVID-19 during UFC 249 fight week

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The UFC heavyweight was particularly worried about passing the potentially fatal disease to his family. 

Despite the UFC touting its health and safety protocols for fight week in Jacksonville, Florida, Aleksei Oleinik admitted he was still ‘afraid’ of contracting COVID-19.

The UFC heavyweight, who defeated former champion Fabricio Werdum by unanimous decision on the UFC 249 prelims, told tass.ru afterwards that Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza’s positive test on Friday evening caused him to be concerned about potentially contracting the disease.

“I was afraid that I would bring this infection home. But since [Jacare’s positive test], they tested everyone, I didn’t refuse to fight. And so yes — I was afraid.”

UFC 249 took place on May 9, 2020 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. As of Monday, the state of Florida has 40,982 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while the total U.S. number is 1.37 million confirmed cases, including 80,652 deaths.

Oleinik, who previously stated that the risks fighters take on a regular basis far outweigh the risks of COVID-19, added that he is still willing to accept more fights during the ongoing global health crisis.

“I’m ready to fight with someone from the old guard, or maybe some someone younger. I’m less tired [now] than I was after the fight with [Maurice] Greene.”