MMA fighters struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone around the world. Struggles are everywhere, even with fighters train at Jackson and Wink MMA Academy.

“In our industry, obviously the guys make a living by fighting. At this moment, obviously it is very difficult to do because all of the venues are closed. You know, there are a lot of smaller venues that rely on ticket sales and things like that, so the amateur fighters that are trying to come up and make a career out of it, as well as pro fighters at the beginning, their lives are pretty much on pause right now”, said JW General Manager Michael Lyubimov.

“There are no events you know what I mean, COVID is kind of killing that. I can’t progress my career, you know what I mean and I am from Richmond, Virginia. I didn’t come from a lot at all and I am here to change my dynasty and change my family and I kind of can’t do that right now because of COVID. Darn you”, said JW Amateur Fighter, Lydell Proag.

This pandemic has clearly prevented fighters from making money, attaining their dreams of fighting at the highest level, and maintaining a healthy mindset in some cases. The gym is currently at 25% capacity and in some cases, people cannot come in to train anymore.

“Not being able to train for many of us, it literally becomes a psychological problem. I see these guys get major depression”, said Lyubimov.

Fighters that aren’t in the major promotions, like the UFC, are feeling the woes of this pandemic the most. They can’t get fights and they are having a hard time making money.

“So, say if you want to get a job and for most of us fighters, who have been doing this for a while, the jobs we are going to go for are security or bouncing. What are you going to bounce? There’s nothing open”, said JW Professional Fighter, Maurice Jackson.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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