John Locher/Associated Press
UFC star Kamaru Usman dealt with significant symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19 last summer.
Usman told Dotun Akintoye of ESPN that he lost his sense of smell and taste and was urinating blood because he was so dehydrated. He drove himself to the emergency room and learned he had contracted the coronavirus.
Over the first eight days of feeling symptoms, Usman said he lost 17 pounds.
His bout with the virus came shortly after defeating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251.
“Man, I just made all this money and I’m not gonna be able to spend it,” he thought to himself.
Usman only faced Masvidal last July because his originally scheduled opponent, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for COVID-19 before the fight.
Burns was initially upset about missing his opportunity for a title fight but later realized the effects of the disease.
“My energy level was not normal coming back,” he said in December.
Both men eventually returned to the Octagon in February as Usman defended his welterweight title with a third-round knockout win over Burns in UFC 258. Usman is now set to face Masvidal, the No. 4 contender at 170 pounds, in a rematch at UFC 261 on Saturday.
Usman is quickly climbing the rankings of the best in the sport, currently ranked the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in UFC. If the Nigeria native keeps adding to his 18-1 career record, he will be considered one of the best in MMA history.
His illness, which kept him out of the gym for six weeks, still showed that COVID-19 can affect anyone.