UFC fighter protests opening of gyms due to coronavirus outbreak

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UFC Anderson Dos Santos’ bantamweight joined dozens of martial arts practitioners who protested outside the Sao Paulo Legislative Assembly to call on the state to reopen gymnasiums despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Sao Paulo, a city of 12.8 million, recorded 1,345 of 3,313 COVID-19 deaths in Brazil (40.6%) and 16,740 of 49,492 confirmed cases (33.8%) on Thursday . On the same day, as 407 people lost their battle with the coronavirus in Brazil, a new country record, nearly 100 fighters and coaches asked Governor Joao Doria to authorize the opening of the gymnasiums.

The governor recently announced that the economy would begin to slowly reopen from May 11. But gymnasiums are not among the activities to receive the green light, and protesters have asked to be among the first groups of authorized activities.

According to “Berinja” dos Santos, coaches, fighters and MMA promoters discussed the idea on a WhatsApp group last week and decided to organize the demonstration to shed light on the issue after “many gymnasiums declared bankruptcy “and the fighters could not teach private lessons to make ends meet.

“We sell health and sports in the gymnasium, and it is important that people continue to participate in physical activities, and that coaches and owners of gymnasiums can keep their business alive,” dos Santos told MMA Fighting.

Dos Santos (20-8) does not have a gym in Sao Paulo, but he gives private lessons. He fought twice under the banner of the UFC, losing to Nad Narimani and Andre Ewell.

MMA and martial arts do not lend themselves to social distancing, so “Berinja” suggests that gymnasiums reopen with fewer students per class.

“We know we can’t have a gym with 10, 15, 20 workouts at the same time at the moment,” he said. “But we can [be flexible] a little bit and have two or three students per class. We know that it is too much to ask for wrestling, MMA and jiu-jitsu lessons at the moment, because there is too much physical contact. But boxing lessons, muay thai, punching pads, it’s doable. This is what we are asking for. ”

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