Bellator Welterweight Erick Silva, Family Test Positive for COVID-19

Erick Silva Bellator MMA
Erick Silva Credit: Mike McClory/Cageside Press

Former UFC and current Bellator MMA athlete Erick Silva has tested positive for COVID-19. The fighter revealed the news to Brazil’s Combate on Monday. Not only that, but his entire family, including his young children, are battling the disease.

Silva, 35, last fought for Bellator in June 2019, against another former UFC star, Paul Daley. As he told Combate, it was his son Carlos who first had symptoms. “He had a fever of 37.7 degrees, but we ended up giving him medicine, Tylenol Baby, we talked to his pediatrician, and Carlos improved right away. Kalleu, my 10-year-old son, was asymptomatic. He had no symptoms, he is jumping, calm, he has no worries. After Carlos’ feverish state, the only thing he experienced was diarrhea, but it was calmer. We were in the agony of wanting to know, until then we preferred to be a little more quiet, isolated, so that we could understand what was happening and not create so much fanfare.”

As it turned out, it was COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) that was diagnosed.

“The whole family caught it,” said Silva. “I’m at my wife’s parents’ house and we all had the symptoms. The interesting thing is that we have people of all ages, from my 5 month old baby, a 10 year old son, there are people aged 23, 26, 35, 52, 58… They were almost all ages and we all had the same symptoms, but the biggest problem is that, in the beginning, when we started to feel the first symptoms, we didn’t know what it was. It started with my wife. The first day she felt it, she had a lot of headaches, chills, and we didn’t care. At first nobody cares. We thought it was an allergy, she didn’t smell or taste anything. Then it was my mother-in-law, she also stopped tasting, then it was me. Then everyone had the same symptoms, my sister-in-law, my father-in-law, the same symptoms for everyone.”

A lack of taste and smell is one of the more recent symptoms of COVID-19 to be identified. Silva, he said later, couldn’t differentiate “curry from saffron.” Luckily, a family friend who happened to be a doctor insisted the family be tested. They then entered quarantine — including Silva’s father-in-law, who suffers from hypertension.

“We decided to give the interview to reassure everyone,” Silva later added. Less reassuring is where Silva caught the virus. He noted that at the end of February, he traveled to Virginia with brother Gabriel for UFC Norfolk. After that trip, he stayed with his family in Espírito Santo, Brazil, and spent ten hours in a car with his brother before returning to Rio. Gabriel Silva, however, is yet to present any symptoms. Which has lead Silva to believe he contracted the virus after he was with his brother — unless Gabriel was asymptomatic.