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Wrestler sucker punch video should not lead to lifetime ban, argues former UFC star

Hafid Alicea of Maine West High School was soundly defeated by Cooper Corder of SPAR Wrestling Academy during the “Beat The Streets” tournament earlier this month at Oak Park River Forest High School in Oak Park, Ill., losing by a score of 14-2.

After the match, both teens were brought together for the obligatory post-match handshake but Alicea went rogue and cold-cocked Corder, leaving him crumpled on the mat. Not surprisingly, Alicea could be facing a lifetime ban from wrestling.

Former UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen, a collegiate wrestler who was not without his own rule-bending accusations, believes the now-viral incident was a “terrible” but “teachable” moment in youth sports.

“I would tell you as a coach, the worst thing that a young man should have is free time,” Sonnen told TMZ Sports. “It’s probably one of the reasons that his parents got him enrolled and enlisted him in something like wrestling in the first place. To kick the kid out and have him just roaming the streets and doing something else I think should be given a real consideration. This was a terrible moment, but it could also be a teachable moment.”

Good luck with that.

It may be hard to teach a young wrestler like Alicea that his behavior is unsportsmanlike when so many idiots in the combat sports community stand and cheer for thugs like Jorge Masvidal. “Gamebred” was also outwrestled and beaten fairly easily when he fought Colby Covington at UFC 272, then decided to get payback by way of steakhouse sucker punch in the streets of Miami.

That’s life as “a real OG,” I suppose.

“We don’t know the rest of the story,” Sonnen continued. “For sure it was terrible action but to ban a kid for life, I think there’s a discussion that at least deserves to be had. The gentleman that you saw getting hit likely has lost his temper before, too. Maybe it was at practice, maybe he didn’t hit quite as hard, maybe it wasn’t caught and shown to the world but it’s a very normal thing in wrestling. Wrestlers tend to forgive other wrestlers and I bet if you asked that kid that was hit, what he wants to see happen, he does not tell you ban that kid or put him in jail.”

Police are currently investigating the chin-checking incident but as of this writing, no charges have been filed.

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