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UFC vet Sergio Moraes reveals ‘scary’ COVID-19 battle: I thought it’d be ‘easy’ for athletes

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Sergio Moraes thought he wouldn’t suffer from the disease because of his healthy lifestyle.

Yet another MMA fighter reveals to have gone through a difficult battle against the highly contagious coronavirus. For his own surprise, former UFC welterweight Sergio Moraes came down with COVID-19 about two weeks ago, but did not expect to be affected by the sickness too harshly since he always lived a healthy lifestyle.

In an interview with Combate, Moraes detailed how he suffered for two weeks until he started feeling better again just last Tuesday. During that period, Sergio narrates suffering all of the disease’s major symptoms, such as high fever, headaches and loss of his sense of smell and taste.

“I’ve always respected the disease. I have lots of friends in Europe and in the United States. I talked to them and knew that it was serious business. I thought that because I never smoked, drank, or partied, it would be easy for me if I caught it. It was not easy at all.

“It’s serious business. It’s an aggressive disease. If you think you’ll be all right because you’re an athlete or because you have a physical activities background, forget that. You better take precautions. If it’s hard for us who live a healthy lifestyle, I wonder what it’s like for those who don’t. When I was sick, I kept thinking I didn’t want my parents, my sister or my kids to go through this. People need to be aware and take care.”

Related: Roger Gracie ’bedridden for 10 days’ due to coronavirus

After being treated by a friend doctor, Moraes did not have to go to a hospital and endured the difficult period in his mother’s home, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. However, it was not an easy time, because even while trying to take short walks, Sergio would experience shortness of breath alongside all the other symptoms.

“Those were two tough weeks. I had all the symptoms. The scariest ones were the constant 104-degree fever and the headaches. You can’t find a good position to rest your head. I lost my sense of smell, I could not taste anything, it was bizarre. I only knew I was eating beans because I could see them. After four or five days with COVID-19, Felipe (his doctor) told me to put on a mask and go for a walk to see if I had shortness of breath. I said: ‘Are you crazy? How will I be out of breath just from walking?’. I came out of the back of my mom’s house, where I was isolated and walked up to the second floor, I didn’t even need to go outside, I was already out of breath. It was bizarre.”

Moraes (14-6-1) was released from the UFC late 2019, after losses to Anthony Rocco Martin, James Krause and Warlley Alves. During his time in the company, the 37-year-old defeated some notable names in welterweight, such as Neil Magny, Tim Means and Ben Saunders. The ‘Panther’ left the Octagon with an 8-5-1 UFC record.

As of the writing of this piece, Brazil is going through its most difficult period in the pandemic. In the last 24 hours, over 600 deaths were officially registered in the country, with more than 8500 lives lost overall. When it comes to total confirmed cases, Brazil is one of the few countries that made it to a six-digit figure, with over 126,000 so far.