The event disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has deprived fighters of a means of earning. Louis Smolka, for one, had his UFC Columbus fight cancelled, along with his supposed paycheck.
With most countries imposing a quarantine on their citizens, Smolka came up with an idea on how his fellow fighters can earn money while on lockdown.
Honestly, at this point guys who need to make ends meet should start livestreaming sparring sessions on youtube. I honestly think the hardcores will take whatever they can get. And if nothing else it keeps the spirit of MMA alive kinda . #MMA #UFC— Louis Smolka (@LASTSAMURAIUFC) March 16, 2020
“We’re not going to try to kill each other or show everything we’ve got,” the 28-year-old bantamweight told MMA Fighting. “We’re just going to provide entertaining interactions for community sanity.”
Smolka seems optimistic about this plan, and hopes others would follow suit.
“I worry about the impact on the MMA community as a whole. Our ecosystem is not necessarily cut and dry like everybody else,” he said. “There’s a lot of gyms suffering from people not coming or canceling their dues. If people don’t show up, then they can’t pay their rent.
“If it works out for us, other gyms could do it, too, if they need the money.”
Shortly after, Smolka tweeted that his coach Colin Oyama gave the green light to have his sparring session streamed via Twitch on Saturday. However, Oyama later reached out to MMA Fighting, stating that local officials ordered the shutdown of their gym until March 31st due to the outbreak.