• A Brazilian combat sports athlete said he felt out of breath and imprisoned by the coronavirus, a disease he said felt like it just didn't stop.
  • 37-year-old Sergio Moraes is wildly accomplished in Brazilian jiu jitsu and has fought 14 times in the UFC. However, he said Covid-19 was his most aggressive opponent to date.
  • "If I knew where the off switch was, 'enough, no more,' I would have pressed it," Moraes told MMA Fighting.
  • "I went to Sao Paulo to take care of my parents and they ended up taking care of me."
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A former UFC athlete said beating the coronavirus was far more "aggressive" than any opponent he fought in his entire career.

Sergio Moraes, a 37-year-old Brazilian who has a third degree black belt in jiu jitsu and has been a two-time world champion in that sport, has competed 14 times in the premier mixed martial arts firm the UFC, and fought big-name combatants like the current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

But overcoming Covid-19 proved to be a tougher challenge than anyone he's competed against in combat sport as he felt out of breath and imprisoned by the disease because the coronavirus just "doesn't stop," he told MMA Fighting this week.

"I never had such an aggressive opponent," Moraes said. "I went to Sao Paulo to take care of my parents and they ended up taking care of me."

Moraes had coronavirus-like symptoms last month and isolated in a room outside his father's house until he was taken to hospital by a friend where he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Moraes did not expect to suffer as much as he did, he said, and was shocked at the shortness of breath he felt after the first four to five days.

"Man, I was so out of breath I had to sit down," Moraes said. "I didn't even walk around the block … [it's] a disease that doesn't stop.

"For some moments, if I know where was the off switch, 'enough, no more,' I would have pressed it. Man, it dominates you in such a way. The medicine are strong, you don't want to eat and drink anything because of them. It really affects you. I was very concerned … your hands are tied. You have to be strong, but you can't."

Moraes hasn't competed in the UFC since November, 2019, when he was stopped in the third round by James Krause. It was his third defeat in a row and he was released by the company.

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