MMA: NY nurse, ex-UFC fighter Phillipe Nover says COVID-19 different type of battle


Posted at Apr 02 2020 03:56 PM


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Retired US-based Filipino fighter Phillipe Nover has fought numerous wars inside the MMA cage.

But as a registered nurse in New York, he has seen the battle against the feared coronavirus first hand, and that this opponent is something else entirely

“Things just kind of turned upside down in a matter of days and weeks,” Nover, who has fought in the UFC and Bellator, said in an article posted on

“I’d say New York City was quite ill prepared... I mean this pandemic is spreading so rapidly and there was only one hospital in Long Island, N.Y. that was able to actually test in the hospital. It took three days even to get the results and that was as of a week or 10 days ago. Now we’re moving quick where we’re testing people, but we still don’t have enough tests.”

Nover said the shortage of test kits has been the biggest issue when treating patients who are suspected of COVID-19 infection.

New York City reported more than 38,000 cases of COVID-19 with more than 900 deaths caused by Coronavirus as of Monday. 

Nover said the number of infected people isn’t even remotely close to accurate, considering what he’s witnessing in the hospital daily.


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“We’re not even giving tests to everyone,” he said. “You literally have to be critical and have a lot of symptoms to be tested. There’s an influx of patients."

“Our emergency rooms are maxed out most of the time at 80 to 100 percent. Our ICU’s (intensive care unit) is maxed out. Those are the two areas of the hospitals where all medical personnel are directed towards.”

Nover said that some of his co-workers contracted the virus, but none of them critical.

“As far as putting myself on the line, I thought about it initially but I said sign me up. I got into healthcare to help people and this really is what our calling should be,” he said.

Nover added that he has decided to stop training since it meant possibly passing the virus to his gym mates.

“As a former MMA fighter and jiu-jitsu practitioner, I’d love to go and train with the guys and I’m sure there’s guys out there training, but I just can’t risk it,” Nover said. 

“I’m probably a carrier. I might not even show symptoms, but I just can’t risk it.”

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).