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Video: Dana White sends ‘amazing’ message to ex-UFC fighter battling coronavirus as front-lines nurse

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight Phillipe Nover, who was introduced to mixed martial arts (MMA) fans as “the next Anderson Silva” during his stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8, is now a full-time nurse fighting the coronavirus pandemic on the front lines in New York.

And while Nover, 36, hasn’t seen the inside of the Octagon in over three years, promotion president Dana White hasn’t forgotten about “The Filipino Assassin” and recently sent TMZ Sports a message of respect for the healthcare “stud.”

“Phillipe, Dana here. I’m hearing all the incredible things that you’re doing on the front lines in New York City,” White said (transcribed by Nolan King). “You’re awesome, kid. I have so much respect for, not just you, but everybody who is part of the first responders and medical staff that are taking care of everybody and putting yourself in harm’s way to help others. You were a stud on ‘TUF,’ and apparently, you’re still kicking ass, my friend. Congratulations and thank you so much for all you’re doing for everybody. See you soon.”

Nover (11-8-1) finished second on TUF 8 behind Efrain Escudero and came up short in consecutive fights after getting called back in early 2009. That led to a 5-2 run on the regional circuit — which included a pitstop in Bellator MMA — before a second UFC stint from 2015-17.

“Wow, that’s a great message,” Nover replied. “I did not expect that. That feels amazing. I’m glad the message is out there. He’s always been super supportive of my career, even in the UFC. That’s an amazing message. It (comes) from the boss. That’s awesome. Thanks, Dana.”

Nover was last seen in a losing effort against Rick Glenn at UFC 208 in New York.