UFC Fighter Anderson Dos Santos Joins Protests In Favor Of Opening Gyms In Brazil

Photo Via Anderson Berinja

UFC bantamweight fighter Anderson dos Santos was among the martial arts practitioners who stood in front of the Legislative Assembly of Sao Paulo to protest in favor of the government opening gyms again in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

The protest took place in a city that has seen about 40 percent of Brazil’s 4,057 coronavirus-related deaths and about a third of the country’s 59,324 confirmed cases. MMA Fighting reports that about 100 martial artists showed up to the protest to ask the governor to reopen businesses.

The Sao Paulo governor, Joao Doria, has previously announced that the city will slowly begin reopening businesses starting on May 11, but gyms are thus far scheduled for a later phase. The protesters are pushing for gyms to be among the first businesses to be allowed to reopen despite the close contact and germ transfer that inevitably takes place when practicing combat sports.

Dos Santos teaches privates, but doesn’t currently own his own gym. He and other MMA fighters, promoters, and coaches discussed getting together for the protest in a WhatsApp group. Dos Santos also told MMA Fighting that while he was in support of reopening martial arts gyms, he wants the process to be gradual to minimize the inherent risks.

“We know we can’t have a gym with 10, 15, 20 training at the same time at the moment. But we can [be flexible] a little bit and have two or three students per class. We know it’s too much to ask for wrestling, MMA, and jiu-jitsu classes for now, because there’s too much physical contact. But boxing classes, muay thai, hitting pads, it’s doable. That’s what we’re asking.”

Brazil currently has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Americas. The United States, reporting 938,154 total cases and 53,755 total deaths, still has the highest number of cases and deaths in the Americas and the world.


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