Peter Barrett has yet to make his debut with the UFC because the fighter’s bout on April 25 was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The fighter, who is a first responder when he’s not a professional MMA fighter, doesn’t like that the UFC is planning on running events during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The UFC is a sport,” Barrett said to MMA Junkie. “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.’ 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.”
UFC action is supposed to resume on May 9 with UFC 249, but no location has been revealed for the card at this time.
“Khabib (Nurmagomedov) is like the only big name who really went on the public line to advocate for it after being (expletive) around for three weeks about not knowing who he’s going to fight,” Barrett said. “If more guys at the top came out with that sentiment, I think lower guys would feel better about feeling that way. I think everybody is afraid to publicly voice your opinions about it.”
Dana White says that the UFC is going to run weekly events starting with UFC 249, but nothing other than UFC 249 has been confirmed at this time.