October 24, 2020

Irene Aldana speaks to the media on a Zoom call press conference, about testing positive for COVID-19

UFC bantamweight Irene Aldana held a press conference tonight via Zoom, after testing positive for COVID-19 that led to the postponement of her bout against Holly Holm.

“The UFC keeps fighters’ positive results confidential and only the public would be addressed if a fighter decides to speak on them being contracted by the virus. I decided to mention it. I thought it was best, first to be transparent and use this platform and say what happened to me, to tell people that who don’t believe this virus is real and because they are young it won’t affect them.”

“My coaches at Lobo Gym were aware exactly what happened, advised me to postpone or cancel the fight. We tested my physical condition – I was still feeling bad and exhausted. I kept getting dizzy. They saw that I wasn’t 100 percent, from that point on, they decided to contact the UFC about my situation. That was the best decision to make.”

“I don’t know when I will have my second COVID-19 test. I had my second one yesterday and it came out positive. After having the second test, I would need to wait a little until I can have the second one – at least 10 days. It was something very sad to postpone this fight. Fortunately, it wasn’t a cancelation and the bout is still on.”

“We were ready. I was already in the peak of my physical condition, and ready to pack my bags for Las Vegas. I had the symptoms, so I took the COVID-19 test. I did two exams. The first one was my decision to take it and I did another one for the UFC. My tests results came out positive. The most important thing is my health and begin the process to recover. And once I feel better, I will continue my fight camp.”


“I had headaches and I started sweating from the fevers I endured. The fever went away with medication. Also, my body was weak because of the symptoms. I thought it was a simple cold, afterwards I felt well after three days feeling bad. I thought it was a flu, then I went to get tested. The results came back positive the same day I took the test. Afterwards, I felt better, and I thought the fight would continue. Two days later I started feeling sick again. Just climbing the stairs, I would get tired and I felt dizziness.”

“We all are scared of this virus. It’s not just about having a competition in sports. We followed all the procedures – staying home and leaving for months … My team is incredible and I had the support from them all, and they were willing to do whatever was necessary to get me well and move forward. This motivates me a lot, but my first win will be this fight against COVID-19, and then with Holly Holm. I have a couple of months to prepare for it.”

“I didn’t want to cancel the fight. I was testing my physical condition. Some days I would say I feel better, ‘let’s try to keep pushing and see how I feel,’ so the fight won’t get canceled. Because I didn’t want them to take this opportunity from me, and give it to someone else. I talked to my coach and we thought of my health first. If I would’ve pushed my body to the limit, I would’ve gotten even more sick. The good is that I didn’t have to go to the hospital and be connected to a respiratory machine. I’m here cooped in my home. The UFC knew my situation and were very understanding. They told me that they are just going to change the date of the fight.”

“I have to do test until I test negative. The virus can leave my system from 15 to 20 days, depends on the person. Lately would I’ve been doing, is seeing how my body reacts with training. Once I test negative, I have to take another test – a date close to the fight. When I travel to the fight, I’ll have to take another test.”

“They told that they are going to give me a date for a fight. But they aren’t telling me that I need to test negative in such day, if not, they will cancel it. They haven’t mention none of that. The UFC said whatever necessity I need, they will support me – whether it is for doctors or any other assistance, I can count on them.”

“This situation gives me an extra motivation. I have more time to prepare, to keep focus and do more physical conditioning. I’m going to use this extra time and make the most of it. I know my team will do a good job to make sure my cardio is up to par to fight in a five-round bout. I will be ready, even though right now my body is still recovering.”

Cristhian Plasencia

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