The Coronavirus pandemic has shaken up the world of sports, with cancellations and postponements happening on all fronts. In combat sports, the same logic was applied, despite initial resistance. In mixed martial arts specifically, BRAVE Combat Federation has led the way in this matter by postponing three events and starting a worldwide awareness campaign, #BRAVECombatsCovid19 with the help of its roster of fighters, who have become ambassadors in their communities and abroad. It is so far the only campaign organized by a global mixed martial arts organization.
Several physicians and sports doctors around the world are advising that no sporting events should take place until further notice. It is validation for BRAVE CF’s exemplary conduct throughout this ordeal.
The Association of Ringside Physicians has been quick to recommend the indefinite suspension of all combat sports events in a statement that can be read on its website. It says any event taking place at this time will put everyone involved under unnecessary risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19.
“It is our recommendation that all combat sporting events be postponed until further notice. This includes any and all events, regardless of the number of people involved. Any combat sport taking place during this global pandemic places the athletes, officials, and anyone else involved in the event under unnecessary risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19.”, reads part of the statement.
In an interview with ESPN, Dr. Donald Muzzi, president of ARP, expanded on why combat sports, in particular, shouldn’t host events in the midst of this pandemic.
“A guy goes in let’s say for a cut or a shoulder injury or something, he’s gonna get put on the back burner. Because they’ve got much more important things to worry about. Another thing, that’s another chance for exposure from an ER that has potential patients with that virus”, said Dr. Muzzi to ESPN.
In India, physicians and doctors have warned that bringing back sports early could have disastrous effects.
“I have no doubt that sport is great but at the moment, the focus is on saving lives, and having sports events, which attract large crowds, could prove to be disastrous”, said sports injury surgeon Akash Sabharwal, in an interview with PTI.
Margaret Goodman, chairwoman of VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) and former employee of ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions), has pointed the finger at the UFC for wanting to host an event on May 9th, saying that personnel needed at the event carry risk to the athletes and vice-versa.
“You can sequester athletes, but inspectors, doctors, referees, commissioners carry risks to athletes and vice-versa”, said Goodman.