MMA Root

Two-time champion Natan Schulte considered withdrawing from PFL season due to mandatory 17-day quarantine – MMA Root

One of the faces of the League of Professional Fighters, two-time lightweight champion Nathan Schulte practically refused to participate in the 2021 season.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still hitting the world, the PFL developed a security protocol that included a 17-day quarantine period for fighters before the events. Speaking to MMA Fighting ahead of Friday night’s fight with Marcin Held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Schulte said he had discussed retiring from the season on protocol.

Schulte, who recently became a father, was not happy with the idea of ​​leaving his wife and son and spending three weeks in Atlantic City before each fight.

“It was not easy to stay on the sidelines for so long, but there was nothing we could do,” Schulte said. “As athletes, we have to follow the protocol we set for promotion.”

Schulte said the PFL was willing to give up this 17-day period if vaccinated against the new coronavirus, but the Brazilian lightweight refused to be vaccinated in the middle of the camp and “risked” experiencing any reaction.

“There was nothing we could do,” said Schulte, who once contracted COVID-19. “It either did [the 17-day quarantine] or not at war. I really thought about not fighting, but I talked to my manager for a long time and he convinced me not to fight. [withdraw]… He told me to fight, and then we will discuss quarantine again before the next fight, maybe not for long. “

Schulte said his second fight of the season is expected to take place on June 10 on the fourth PFL card of the season and will likely not get vaccinated between fights. The American Top Team lightweights will return home for about four weeks before returning to Atlantic City again, and “hope” for a shorter quarantine next time.

The PFL returns with a different system in 2021, with fewer entrants and shorter playoffs. Instead of eight athletes making the playoffs, only four will receive points to secure a spot in the semi-finals.

Schulte thinks this complicates matters as “double wins don’t necessarily guarantee a spot” and “puts more pressure” on the fighters to secure the finish, so he participates in Friday night’s event in an effort to stop Held.

“I think he is a strong opponent, a good fighter with good blocking of legs and heels,” Schulte said. “He has a good game on the ground, he has a good black belt. [in jiu-jitsu]but I will fight the same way as always, applying pressure and aiming for a knockout – or maybe surrender. If we go to earth, I believe that I can bring him back.

Schulte cites fellow American Top Team lightweight and close friend Rausch Manfio as the toughest PFL lightweight match, but considers former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis a fantastic career opportunity in terms of marketing.

“Pettis is a good fighter, but he is not as dangerous as other fighters,” Schulte said. “I really want to fight him and beating him will definitely lift the spirits of any athlete. I have a good chance of winning. “

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