Report: MMA Pioneer Paul Varelans Dies After Battling COVID-19
By FCF Staff
One of MMA’s pioneers, Paul Varelans, has reportedly died after contracting COVID-19 a few weeks ago.
Recently UFC co-founder and Hall of Famer Art Davie reported that Varelans had contracted the virus and that the 51-year-old was on a ventilator. It was reported that Varelans’ condition was improving, but more recently there have been multiple reports the ex-fighter has passed away.
I was Facebook friendly with Paul Varelans. Following his COVID journey was tough. He got hit hard and five days later was being put in a medically induced coma.
There was some hope a couple of weeks ago. He was breathing 70% on his own. But eventually it overwhelmed him. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/f0BXVxZm3S
— The OFFICIAL MMA Encyclopedia (@JESnowden) January 17, 2021
Varelans made his pro-debut in 1995 at UFC 6, and knocked out Cal Worsham, before being stopped by ‘Tank’ Abbott. In the proceeding years, the massive, 6’8 heavyweight went 9-9.
Varelans’ last bout was in 1998, when he KO’d Dick Vrij at a Rings of Holland event.