Alexander Volkanovski Says He Coughed Up Blood While Suffering From COVID

Published 04/07/2021, 11:32 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 10: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia poses on the scale during the UFC 251 official weigh-in inside Flash Forum at UFC Fight Island on July 10, 2020 on Yas Island Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Alexander Volkanovski is one of the best fighters in the UFC right now. His consecutive victories over Max Holloway and the Featherweight title around his waist speak to his greatness. However, he has encountered a major roadblock on the path of building off his recent success.

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Volkanovski saw his title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 260 scrapped because of his struggles with COVID. But it doesn’t look like the champion will have an easy path to the Octagon. He revealed the extent to which he has fallen sick to Ariel Helwani, where he opens up about his breathing struggles and coughing up blood.

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“My lungs have started to hurt a bit where you know, maybe this happens a fair bit too. But I’m like hurting to breathe and sort of really wanting to pay attention to everything. I started coughing up and my phlegm started coming out pinky, you know with the little flecks of blood. I was lucky to have Jordan, my fight dietitian, and my nutritionist. He knows a little bit so he knew something somebody needs to look at, because that’s blood in the lungs.”

Alexander Volkanovski: When will he return to fighting shape?

First and foremost, we wish Alexander Volkanovski a swift recovery. But the reality of the modern fight landscape makes everyone question what the future of fighters that suffer from COVID is. We have seen Khamzat Chimaev‘s rising career wracked with COVID, as he has been unable to return to the cage and wanted to retire.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia celebrates after his split-decision victory over Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Volk has a very bright career still ahead of him, with him just entering his prime. But his career shouldn’t take priority over health, especially because the nature of COVID is still unclear. People are still discovering long-term effects. We saw college basketball player Keyontae Johnson have his career cut short after a heart issue that was common in post-COVID patients.

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The landscape of the Featherweight division moves with Volk. Contenders are already lining up, and the UFC may have to consider booking an interim bout and allow Volk to return to full health before he gets back into the cage.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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