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Stay home! Bellator 241’s Daniel Weichel on training cautiously during coronavirus pandemic

Daniel Weichel

Leading up to the postponed Bellator 241 card on March 13, 2020, in Uncasville, Conn., I spoke with “Drake” Daniel Weichel (read it here) about his upcoming rematch with “El Matador” Emmanuel Sanchez. Weichel made it to the United States without incident and successfully weighed in for the fight, guaranteeing he would earn at least his show money for the bout.

During the course of our interview Weichel and I spoke about the expanding coronavirus pandemic and whether or not he had any concerns about traveling internationally. In light of recent events, these remarks are even more pertinent than they were before the fight.

“Of course, you have to think about it, but I do this like as always you know. At the moment here it’s winter time and many people are getting sick or getting a cold, so anyway I stay away from people. {*chuckling*} I stay at home, I do my grocery, and staying with the family as much as possible so I don’t get in contact with too many people anyways.”

Weichel was clearly practicing “social distancing” before those became the buzzwords of our time. I asked him, though, if a fighter can really train and spar normally considering the risks of unknowingly spreading the novel coronavirus.

“Yeah, it is (a risk), but it’s also like I know exactly who I’m training with. Like I have my specific training partners and like right now we’re always in contact (about wellness) and talking, ‘Hey, how are you feeling? Do you feel okay? You feel good?’ I mean I know that it’s not one hundred percent that you are ‘safe safe,’ but still I feel that it’s the safest it can get the way that I do it.”

These days even training with trusted partners could be challenging given how many gyms and clubs are closed. Nevertheless Weichel has some strong advice for fighters who think they are tougher than illness and can just show up like normal while sick.

“If someone doesn’t feel good, he doesn’t come to training. This is the worst — when people have the feeling that they’re getting something and still think, ‘Oh yeah I will go to training, and just see how I feel.’ This is the worst, you know? They know they already got something and (they’re) coming to training.”

That’s sensible advice right now for anybody in any field of work — fighting or otherwise. If you’re sneezing, running a fever or both, stay the hell home.

“Yes! And don’t come back too early! It’s also the worst when they come back and say, ‘Yeah I just... I feel better than yesterday.’ Yeah — but you’re still sick! Stay home, please!”

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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