Juan Archuleta: I was a COVID denier, until I got it
Juan Archuleta and Patchy Mix were contracted to fight for the vacant bantamweight belt at Bellator 242 on July 24, the promotion's return from the COVID-19 global pandemic that shuttered all events after February 22. However, Archuleta contracted the coronavirus, so now the pair fight in the main event of Bellator 246 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night.
In a Bellator 246 pre-fight interview with MMA Junkie, Archuleta talked about it.
“I was the type of person that didn’t believe in this,” he said. “But it’s like, ‘I’m healthy, I’m not going to catch this, this thing is a hoax.’ And then catching it is like, kind of sets you back, and I started experiencing the symptoms, and I’m like man, I don’t want my give my kids this.”
“Fourth of July, I was cutting the weight down, I was within striking distance down to 153 pounds, but at the same time, I compromised my immune system and I ended up catching COVID, so that next week there was the testing and stuff like that. I had to reach out to Bellator and let them know, ‘Hey, I caught COVID.’
“Even though some of the test results were negative, I got the nose swab and it was positive, and then it was like, ‘I gotta let them know right away,’ and they if they gotta adjust the main event or co-main event, if they gotta pull me, they gotta pull me.'”
“No asymptomatic for me. I had all symptoms besides throwing up. Other than that, the chest pressure, the swollen neck, the sore throat, felt like a strep throat, the body chills, body pain, just everything. It was one of the craziest sicknesses that I’ve ever dealt with.”
Now that Archuleta is back, his first choice was Sergio Pettis, but his confidence is high vs. Mix as well.
“It was either going to be Sergio, or it was going to be Patchy Mix,” he said. “My request was Sergio, but they said, ‘We believe Patchy Mix is a better fit in our organization for the 135 for the contender,’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it, whoever has the best momentum, put them in front of me because I’m going to put them away and bring the belt home.'”