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Alexander Volkanovski struggles in training: ‘I don’t know if it’s because of the COVID’

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Will champ Volkanovski return at 100 percent following his bad case of COVID? It’s a question even he seems to be asking himself.

UFC 251: Volkanovski v Holloway Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, had one of the worst cases of COVID-19 that we know about, and has been pretty open about how seriously the virus beat him down back in March when he got it. There was a lot of blood coming out of his lungs and several trips to the hospital when his Oxygen levels dropped, but fortunately, “The Great” recovered pretty well.

Or, at least we thought he did.

Keep in mind recovery for an average person is different from recovery for a professional athlete. Volkanovski won his belt off endless cardio and output. There’s definitely a big question as to whether he’ll still be able to grind like that after being officially diagnosed with COVID pneumonia, which damages lung tissue. We’re sure Volkanovski is just as worried as he gets back to training and discovers whether he can still hit his old metrics.

In a series of Instagram stories, Volkanovski detailed a not-so-great exercise session on his bike that affected him worse than he expected it would.

“Just did a strength session and was on the Airdyne bike, the assault bike,” Volkanovski said on video. “Tell you what, that got uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s this bloody cold air in Australia cuz it’s freezing here, we came from Vegas where it’s boiling hot. We tried to do this outside, the assault bike ... it absolutely rocked me. I don’t know if it’s cuz of the COVID or it’s just the cold weather, but damn it trashed me.”

Fortunately for Volkanovski, he’s got lots of time to recover. His post-The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 coaching bout against Brian Ortega isn’t until September, giving him another three months to get ready and sort out any lingering issues. It’s also worth noting that Volkanovski contracted coronavirus at the end of March, which means it’s only been two months since he went through that hellish illness.

Honestly, it’s kind of crazy that he’s training as hard as he is already given what we know of his case.