The COVID-19 Delta variant has hospitalized a BKFC champion.

Luis Palomino, a fighter with 43 professional mixed martial arts bouts and bareknuckle boxing champion, is now in the hospital dealing with the harsh effects of the virus, including being unable to eat food for 12 days.

Palomino, 40, recently transitioned well into the bareknuckle boxing world. In just his second bout, he won the BKFC lightweight title and has gone undefeated through four fights with the promotion. His most recent outing was against Tyler Goodjohn at BKFC 18 on June 27, a fight he won by unanimous decision to defend his title for the second time.

Just days after a successful surprise proposal to fiancé Karen, Palomino finds himself fighting again, but this time in the hospital against the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Currently, he is in no condition to worry about his next contest as he’s battling through the Delta variant. On Wednesday, Palomino shared a video from his hospital bed via Instagram describing his current situation:

Fighting covid variant Delta

12 days no food, sips of water, massive headaches, body aches, fevers from day one still going today, shiver attacks, no sleeps longer then 2/3 hours, inflammation of the pancreas, diarrhea pure water just started to calm down with medication. Diabetes just popped up from all the steroids their pumping me with and took my first ever insulin shots.
I’m a mothaf*cking champion and this will not beat me. I will be back very soon, thank you all for your endless love and support. You give me strength thank you God bless you and yours

“I spent the last five years of my life without getting sick by simply taking care of my body and my immune system,” Palomino said through labored breath. “After my engagement, I did a lot of celebrating, a lot of drinking, and I let my immune system drop. So, Delta (variant) caught me slipping.”

I just want to let you guys know, this thing is very serious. I was completely against the vaccine, except for the elders and kids that are young and still have a weak immune system. That, I was never against.”

“Now, I encourage you all to take it,” Palomino continued. “You’ve got the Pfizer FDA approved. As soon as I’m out of here, my entire family in my home, my fiancé, my son, and I, we will be taking it. At least it will keep you from dying. …This thing nearly got me.”

Palomino stated he was sick at home for 12 days before his fiancé forced him to go to the hospital, and is now starting to feel better, 15 days into his illness. Hopefully, his condition continues to improve.

Like the rest of the world, the combat sports realm has been turned upside down since the global pandemic began raging in 2020, causing multiple cancellations of fights and entire events. Not only have numerous fighters contracted the virus, but most importantly, lives have been lost. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father of retired former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, lost his battle with COVID-19 in July 2020 and Texas coaching legend Saul Soliz passed away due to the virus earlier this month.

“Don’t play with this stuff, guys,” Palomino said.

“Get vaccinated.”


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