Relatively few UFC fighters have gone public about contracting COVID-19 so far, and Jimmie Rivera has now joined that list, announcing that he tested positive for the virus back in April.
“I didn’t have it that bad. I had it bad for like three days, and then I was fine afterward. But then at the same time, I do work out all the time,” Rivera told ESPN.
“Where it really hit was, a couple weeks later, my wife got it, and that was really, really bad,” Rivera said. “She has immune [system] deficiency. She was really bad. She had a dry cough. She had everything puts toward this. It was a very slow process with recovering.”
According to Rivera, he and his wife both have fully recovered after battling the virus, and plans on returning to the UFC in August. He already has an opponent in mind, and wants to face Marlon Vera, who he was booked against earlier in the year.
Rivera’s teammate Lyman Good also previously tested positive for the coronavirus. He believes the two cases are connected as they were both shooting online training videos prior to the diagnosis.
Rivera is currently the #9 ranked UFC bantamweight. He hasn’t fought in over a year, and is coming off two losses against the division’s two top contenders in Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling.