Two prominent Stanford coaches Henri Hooft and Greg Jones received three month suspensions following their breach of COVID-19 protocols ahead of Bellator 253. Their fighter Jason Jackson was on the card and they broke protocol to train. They were spotted after a video of their training emerged on social media.
While the fighter did no wrong, the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department of Athletic Regulation gave the duo a three-month suspension.
Speaking with MMA Junkie following the post-fight press conference of Bellator 253, Mike Mazzulli said, “It’s erroneous (and) disrespectful to Bellator and the industry in general. I don’t care who you are when it comes to a trainer. I wouldn’t expect Randy Couture (to break protocol). I wouldn’t expect (anybody) to do this. It’s a public health issue. They were wrong and that’s what they get.”
The Department fined Jackson as well but claimed that they directed the same at his coaches. They hoped that Hooft and Jones would reimburse him for the same.
The protocols laid down required everyone to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival and stay in quarantine for a period of 24 hours till the test results were back. Thought tests were conducted every second day, the 24-hour quarantine rule applied to only the first test.
While Jackson arrived early on in the week, he took the test and also followed the quarantine rule, but when his coaches arrived later on in the week, they, unfortunately, fell afoul of the restrictions.
Mazzulli said, “I hope all ABC members in the country – well, we have ABC members all over the world – but in the country will adhere to these suspensions of these two trainers. We have to set precedent here to show how important it is and make sure you follow the quarantine protocols.”
Hooft and Jones’ suspension could play a role in a high profile upcoming UFC fight. Their fighters Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns are scheduled to fight in the second week of February; the coaches’ suspension will only end towards the end of the month
It now all depends on the Nevada Athletic Commission or another ABC commissioning body if they chose to honor the disciplinary actions. What do you make of the decision?
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