One of the dangers of putting on events during the coronavirus pandemic is the fear of testing positive. Current UFC welterweight Lyman Good recently became the first active fighter on the roster to test positive for the virus.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Good (21-5, 1NC) admitted that he was not feeling like himself prior to UFC 249. He then was tested for COVID-19 with his girlfriend, both coming back positive. Living in New York, which has felt the brunt of the pandemic in the United States, Good made sure to inform his camp, family and friends of his condition.
“I knew something was up,” Good said. “I know my body. I’ve been through it all. I’ve been through a lot of injuries and a lot of other things. But this was different. … As a professional athlete, we’re always constantly pushing our bodies. For me, my body was like my point check to see how physically I feel and everything. And my body just wasn’t there at all.”
Good was scheduled to face Belal Muhammad on April 18, but originally backed out due to what was reported as a hand injury. Despite the threat of the virus, the UFC has been looking to continue on with events. The promotion had all the intention to go on with UFC 249, which was later moved to California before getting cancelled altogether.
The diagnosis came after he suffered from labored breathing, something that was a major warning sign. Training and sparring with others, Good didn’t want to affect anyone else. Only one other coach who was was him ended up testing positive for the virus.
“There’s a pandemic, it is a real thing happening. But I didn’t wanna stoke the flames, so to speak, and influence the fear factor of other people,” Good went on to say. “I just want to let everyone know I’m much better now. At the end of the day, it was a risk that we were willing to take. As a fighter, I knew what the risks were. Unfortunately it is what it is. It happened.”
Good is on a one-fight win streak. The first Bellator Welterweight Champion, Good last fought in New York at UFC 244, beating Chance Rencountre via TKO. He is 2-2 in his last four fights. While the situation is unsettling and there is cause for concern, Good is hoping others like himself can take this and turn this around for the better.
“I don’t want people to feel bad for me and or to say this whole situation is messed up,” Good stated. “It is, but at the same time I was fortunate enough to beat it. Now, let’s get through this, let’s stay connected. Stay positive. We’ll get past it, there’s better times on the way.”