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Aleksei Oleinik plans to travel to UFC 249 by car to avoid contracting COVID-19

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The UFC heavyweight is not taking any added risks (outside of fighting) during the ongoing pandemic. 

UFC 246: Ultimate Media Day Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Despite claiming that COVID-19 — the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus — is no more dangerous than fighting, Aleksei Oleinik does not want to tempt fate ahead of his scheduled bout at UFC 249.

Oleinik, who is scheduled to face former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum on the May 9 show, revealed to tass.ru that he plans to travel to the event by car, instead of taking a plane.

“I live 40 km from Miami,” the heavyweight told tass.ru. “It’s very easy to drive - it’s a direct route. 400 - 500km on a direct route that is never busy. It’s very easy. I like to travel by car, so it’s three to five hours will be enjoyable for me.”

The UFC 249 event is scheduled to take place in Jacksonville, Florida — the largest city in the Duval County, which has 990 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 26 deaths. The county has the highest rate of cases, hospitalizations and deaths across Florida. Statewide cases surpassed 32,800, including 1,171 deaths.

The United States has nearly 1.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 — more than one third of the total number of global confirmed cases — including 68,565 deaths. Despite his early estimates that 60-70,000 people would die from the coronavirus, President Donald Trump said during a Sunday press conference that he believes the death toll could surpass 100,000.

“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people. That’s a horrible thing,” said Trump