Renowned MMA coach Ray Longo is hoping that UFC President Dana White will bite the bullet and cancel a few of the promotion’s upcoming shows amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There are several arguments for the UFC canceling its upcoming events. One of the issues Longo sees is that, with almost all gyms closed, fighters are not able to make adequate preparations for their fights — if those fights even end up happening.
Longo is seeing this issue first-hand as his fighters Chris Weidman and Matt Frevola struggle to prepare for their fights with Jack Hermansson and Roosevelt Roberts respectively.
“[Weidman’s] trying, yeah, definitely, but he’s got to do it at his house,” Longo told MMA Junkie. “I really wish the UFC would’ve just come out and canceled a couple of shows because I don’t like to see these guys go in compromised, you know what I mean? They’re definitely not getting near a normal training camp. I even have Matt Frevola; he thinks he’s fighting on April 26, which I just don’t see it’s a possibility.”
Longo has been doing his best to coach his fighters in these unprecedented circumstances, even training Weidman over FaceTime.
He’s also letting Frevola train in the gym, but doesn’t feel good about doing so.
“I let him get in the gym, which I probably shouldn’t be doing,” Longo said. “It’s just him and another guy sparring, but it puts everybody in an awkward position because I really don’t want to do it, but then again, I want to see the kid get his work in. So it just kind of sucks, man.
“If you’re from New York, I don’t know how everybody else is dealing with it, but I got to tell you, New York is a s**t show,” Longo continued. “You’re staring to hear, it was like six degrees of separation, but now we’re two degrees away from people that we know that are dying and just the people that are losing (someone) saying goodbye on a walkie-talkie outside the hospital. It’s horrible.
“The stories are starting to pour in. I think the other day we lost 1,000 people in New York, and they say we’re not even close to the peak yet. So it’s hard to focus on something that’s more of an enjoyment to you, but this is real life. It’s not a joke, and it’s hard to get past all that. My point to Matt Frevola was, ‘Look, man. I think you should chill because you still live with your father. He’s like my age, and you can get that guy in a lot of trouble if things go south.’
“So everybody is in a weird position,” Longo concluded. “I really wish they (UFC) would just call and say, ‘Hey, you’re not fighting for a couple of weeks,’ at least the guys in New York. ‘Guys, chill out. I know what you’re going through. We’ll get you fights in June, July, but right now chill out.’ It’s hard to abide by what everyone is telling us to do and stay in the house when guys think they’re still fighting and trying to get camps in.”
Are you with coach Ray Longo on this one?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/6/2020.