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UFC bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes and his wife recently tested positive for COVID-19, the fighter told ESPN Brazil.
"Unfortunately, I got the virus -- me and my wife. We were very weak, the symptoms were very strong on us. Thank God I didn't need to go to the hospital, but I had to take my wife to the hospital," said Moraes, whose children did not catch the disease. "We spent a day at the hospital. She was treated by them, she took some medicines, then she stayed under observation."
The former World Series of Fighting champion last competed at UFC 245, where he edged Jose Aldo via split decision on Dec. 14. Moraes was able to watch Aldo’s bout with Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight crown at UFC 251, which the Russian won by technical knockout in the fifth frame. Moraes said he was cheering for his countryman and former foe on Saturday.
"It was a good fight, Jose Aldo is a legend of the sport," Moraes said. "I thought he had a good fight, he showed that he wanted to win, but Yan was better than him and we have to respect him. Aldo is not very used to losing, but in the sport, unfortunately one wins and one loses, so we have to support him. Unfortunately, the belt didn't come [home]. I'm here, other Brazilians are also in the race."
Moraes challenged for UFC bantamweight gold in June 2019, when he suffered a third-round TKO loss to the now-retired Henry Cejudo at UFC 238. The 32-year-old Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu export isn’t likely to be the next title challenger for Yan. Instead, “Magic” claims the promotion already has an opponent in mind for him for the fall.
"The fight [the UFC has] to do now is me versus Cody. And I think they will put [Aljamain] Sterling to fight Yan and whoever wins between me and Cody will be the next to fight for the belt," Moraes said. "The [UFC] is already planning [Moraes-Garbrandt] for October. The fight has already been offered, on my part it has already been accepted, I'm just waiting for the UFC."
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