Marlon Moraes has joined the list of athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, the top-ranked UFC bantamweight contender revealed to ESPN. The Brazilian mixed martial artist and his wife began experiencing symptoms more than a week ago, and Moraes' wife was taken to the hospital for treatment.
"Unfortunately, I got the virus -- me and my wife," Moraes said. "We were very weak, the symptoms were very strong on us. Thank God I didn't need to go to the hospital, but I had to take my wife to the hospital. We spent a day at the hospital. She was treated by them, she took some medicines, then she stayed under observation."
Moraes said that their two children did not test positive for the virus.
In December, Moraes edged out Jose Aldo in the former featherweight king's bantamweight debut. Despite the victory, Moraes did not receive a shot at the bantamweight title vacated when Henry Cejudo retired back in May. That shot instead went to Aldo, who lost via TKO to new champion Petr Yan.
Moraes told ESPN, however, that he is now lined up for a battle with former division champ Cody Garbrandt, who snapped a three-fight losing skid with a vicious knockout of Raphael Assuncao in June at UFC 250.
"The fight [the UFC has] to do now is me versus Cody," Moraes said. "And I think they will put [Aljamain] Sterling to fight Yan and whoever wins between me and Cody will be the next to fight for the belt. The [UFC] is already planning [Moraes-Garbrandt] for October. The fight has already been offered, on my part it has already been accepted, I'm just waiting for the UFC."