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‘Treat us like major league athletes’ - Barrett slams UFC’s ‘ridiculous’ plans amid pandemic

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UFC newcomer Peter Barrett isn’t happy with how the company is planning to push through with fights amid the current global crisis.

Dana White Contender Series alum Peter Barrett was scheduled to make his UFC debut on April 25. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event ended up being cancelled.

The timeframe for when the UFC will be back to its regular schedule remains uncertain, which is perfectly fine for the 33-year-old fighter.

“Training for a fight under these conditions isn’t right,” Barrett told MMA Junkie. “I’m in a unique situation where I live with a first responder. Any adult can make the decision to come into my house to train with me. But at what point is that a cross-benefit analysis where someone can go home and get their mom sick?

“We wouldn’t know if it came out of my house or not. That’d just be something terrible to comprehend or grasp your head around. There’s a chance where me being selfish about wanting to train got one of my friend’s grandparents sick. That’d be just horrible.”

Most major sporting leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB are on pause for the foreseeable future. The UFC, on the other hand, is adamant to carry on with its scheduled events, which for Barrett, is an irresponsible decision.

“The UFC is a sport,” he said. “It’s not a bloodsport any more, right? You want to treat us like athletes, you treat us like athletes. I put this on my Twitter. Fighters fight? Yeah, if you want to go slam a couple pints at the bar and go get in a bar fight for 30 seconds, by all means fighters fight.

“But we’re high-level athletes. We should be treated the way you treat guys in the NFL, the way the guys in the NHL, the ways the guys in the MLB, the way every other pro athlete is treated.

“If they’re not training with their team for six to eight weeks, you’re not going to throw the Patriots starting 11 on the frontline and say, ‘Go play a game. You guys know the sport of football,’” he continued. “No one is going to allow something like that to happen. To see it happening in MMA is just kind of ridiculous, especially where we’re trying to get established as a major league sport.

“Treat us like major league athletes. Expect us to perform when the situations are right. Yeah, everybody stay in shape. Nobody get fat. Don’t sit around in the basement in the corner eating Twinkies and Ho Hos, but to expect guys to be fight ready in this condition? It’s just ridiculous.”

The UFC currently has a massive card scheduled for May 9th, which features three title fights. The venue of the said event has yet to be made official.