Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight up-and-comer, Alex Hernandez, was expected to do battle with Islam Makhachev at the UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 18 inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but the card was eventually canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
While most mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters were tight-lipped at the time, a handful of combatants (like this guy) started coming forward to reveal they were, in fact, struck down by the disease. Hernandez was never tested, but believes he probably contracted coronavirus during training camp.
“My own head coach fell out at one point,” Hernandez told MMA Fighting. “He got sick. I thought I caught some shit at some point where I just had to fight through it and train. I didn’t indulge the fears, and when I got sick I just kept working. I fuckin’ ate that shit up. COVID’s probably trying to deal with me right now, trying to figure out the antibodies to conquer my shit. I probably fucked it up.”
Like UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev returned to Russia when the shit hit the proverbial fan, opening the door for “Contender Series” standout Omar Morales to take his place when the promotion rebooked UFC 249 for Tachi Palace Resort & Casino in Lemoore, California.
Once again, UFC 249 was put on hold and got a new date of May 9 in what is expected to be a Florida-based fight card. The 27 year-old Hernandez, meanwhile, won’t be buying into any of the “conspiracies” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and has already proven to himself that “health is found within.”
“I’m just not worried about it,” he said. “The more information that comes out, the ratios and the death ratios, people start kind of realizing that we’ve been categorizing everything into this COVID umbrella, the more I hope people think it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s not the end of the world, and it’s nothing to even hide from. Just take care of yourself. Health is found within. I think we just need to operate within ourselves, be the best versions of ourselves before we go pointing fingers and creating fuckin’ conspiracies, or whatever the fuck else. Just take care of yourself and get back on track in life.”
Hernandez (11-2) is coming off a decision win over Francisco Trinaldo at UFC on ESPN 4.