'Coronavirus is transmitted through the TV,' says UFC light heavyweight Nikita Krylov
Ukrainian-Russian fighter Krylov defeated home favorite Johnny Walker via unanimous decision at UFC Brasilia on March 14, an event which was held without fans amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak ravaging the globe.
Since then the situation has worsened, causing the UFC to scrap its next three cards and seeing the long-awaited lightweight title showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, scheduled for April 18, also fall by the wayside.
Speaking to RT, Krylov discussed his experience of fighting at the Brasilia event.
“I don’t know if [fighting without fans] matters a lot,” the 28-year-old said.
“Maybe without fans it’s a bit easier, there’s no noise, you can hear your corner clearly, no one distracts you.
“But fans still give you a special energy. You can fight ether way, but I liked how the tournament was organized in Brazil, putting aside the fact that there’s a pandemic.”
The UFC endured criticism for pressing ahead with the event in Brazil as events and leagues in other sports around the world shut down.
When asked about the current situation where he is based in Lugansk, Krylov admitted that people were concerned.
“I want to believe that all this is temporary, but this trend [of border closures and restrictions] is happening everywhere, stronger quarantines, from Monday public places have been closed. People are worried,” he said.
But the 6ft 3in Krylov said he had no fears over his own health.
“Why [should I worry]? The zone of risk is for elderly people and people who have a weak immunity.
“It’s good impetus to keep yourself in shape, eat well and stay physically active.
“Apart from that, every day people die in large numbers. A brick could fall on anyone’s head.
“That’s why I don’t see any point in wrapping yourself up in Scotch [tape] and not touching other people. I don’t do that.”
Krylov also claimed that stressing too much over contracting the virus – including by watching TV – could be a factor in exacerbating a crisis that has seen over 1 million people infected worldwide and caused more than 53,000 deaths.
“I’m trying not to think about it. I think to a large extent the coronavirus is transmitted through the TV. People who constantly think about it are at the biggest risk of being infected,” he said.
Due to his participation in Brazil Krylov now counts himself as among the most recently active UFC fighters, after the organization was forced to scrap three subsequent events.
The light heavyweight – who boasts a 27-7 pro MMA record and is 2-2 in the UFC – said fighters who have missed out due to cancelations should be first in line to fight when the octagon action returns.
“Because of the coronavirus, a lot of fighters have lost the chance to compete, which means there will be lines [of fighters] for future shows. I think that those fighters [who saw bouts canceled] should be given the chance to return to the octagon first,” he said.