The current coronavirus outbreak is affecting nearly everybody around the globe, including MMA fighters.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. has forced many states to put restrictions and bans on mass gatherings, as well as close non-essential establishments across the board. That means shutting down many MMA gyms and forcing promotions to suspend events, as well.
Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and current American Top Team coach Muhammed Lawal has been a close witness to the effects the global pandemic is having on the MMA community, especially its fighters.
“It already started (messing with fighters),” Lawal told MMA Junkie Radio. “Right when it was said cards will be canceled for a while, fighters were wondering, ‘If I’m fighting in June, is that messed up? What about this?’ But June is two months from now. You got people with fights in June wondering if they’re going to be fighting. You have people also on the shelf looking for fights wondering, ‘Will I be on the shelf further, longer?’ So right now, everybody is in limbo.”
American Top Team’s flagship location in Coconut Creek, Fla., is closed, but the staff and owner Dan Lambert will reassess the situation in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, “King Mo” thinks the gym will likely remain closed much longer than that.
“Last week, when everything was getting shut down, we had a team meeting last Tuesday or last Wednesday, and said, ‘Things are getting bad. We’re gonna shut the gym down for two weeks, then we’ll have a coaches’ meeting in two more weeks to see what we’re gonna do,’” Lawal said. “I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be shut down another two weeks. That’s what I’m thinking. So right now everyone’s stir crazy.”
Lawal says the reaction to the closing of the gym was no different than the one happening now across the U.S. It’s been a mixed bag from everyone involved.
“The gym is like America,” Lawal said. “You have some guys (saying), ‘Damn, this is serious.’ Then some guys like, ‘Oh, is it? I don’t know. Is it serious?’ And then there’s some other guys saying, ‘Oh, this is probably fake.’
“People were weirded out, and there’s some confusion. But once we said, ‘Hey, don’t come to the gym until we hit you up in two weeks,’ people were like, ‘Oh, hell no. What are we going to do?’ And I was like, ‘Y’all can shadowbox on your own at y’alls house or go on a jog or something, but don’t come to the gym.’ I’ve seen people doing pushups, burpees, shadowboxing, that’s about it.”
“King Mo” says he’s just living life close to normal, as he usually stays home, anyway. But even then, he’s not going to go out to risk his life and others. Lawal says the coronavirus is very real, and people should take it seriously.
“First of all, the coronavirus is very real for all ya’ll dumbass Trump supporters,” Lawal explained. “Yes, it was real from the get-go. All you dummies posting, ‘Oh, H1N1, this is not that dangerous. We’ll survive like we survived SARS.’
“The COVID-19 virus is a version of SARS – severe acute respiratory symptom. Dummies, it’s real. That’s why Donald Trump went out and declared a state of emergency. It’s real. Y’all be safe, wash your hands.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/03/american-top-team-coach-king-mo-lawal-coronavirus-has-everyone-in-limbo/