Vaccination Requirements are an interesting topic in the world of martial arts – due to plenty of opponents and due to more and more venues requiring proof of vaccination to let the athletes perform.
One such event transpired this past week in Quebec. Former heavyweight title challenger Bryant Jennings was looking to become “bridgerweight” champion but his attempt was self sabotaged when he backed out over COVID 19 vaccination requirements.
Bridgerweight is somewhat of a novelty in the World Boxing Championship – and it was introduced only recently so this move is all the more baffling as Jennings is effectively sabotaging being a part of boxing history.
Jennings was to fight Oscar Rivas on October 22nd. As of September, a vaccine passport system has been active in Quebec and non residents who want to participate in events have to provide a photo id with an address outside the province and an official proof of vaccination issued by either their country of origin or Canada.
Team Jennings informed us this weekend that Bryant refused to get vaccinated as well as refused Canada’s rule of admission for non-vaccinated travelers, even though it was clear in the contract it was necessary.
— Yvon Michel (@yvonmichelGYM) September 27, 2021
Jennings believes he didn’t violate the agreements of his contract.
Me getting the vaccine was never in the plans never in the contract! The contract stated at whatever time I’ll agree to the Quebec public health requirements. But you just can’t up and make requirements as such and think that this is still gonna happen.
— B.Y (@BYJennings) September 27, 2021
Jennings has been extremely vocal about his opinion on the pandemic. Including sharing his thoughts on the 14 day quarantine required of unvaccinated folks:
14 days quarantine no trainer, no gym, no running, no last week of sparring, no sunlight, whatever food available, and I don’t get out of quarantine until the 21st which is the day of the weigh in. How can that work for a world class fighter fighting 12 rounds!
— B.Y (@BYJennings) September 28, 2021
This is a particularly hot topic as the UFC is hosting the next big card in New York at Madison Square Garden where a vaccine requirement had been implemented earlier this year. The card is believed to feature Michael Chandler vs Justin Gathje with Chandler being an outspoken proponent of getting the shot.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced plans for an executive order requiring proof of vaccination for indoor activities, including gyms and restaurants. Chandler has already said he would not be vaccinated in time .
FAQ on the Madison Square Garden website instructs:
Per government mandates for attending indoor events at venues such as The Garden, all guests age 12 and older will need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, which means you’ve had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Guests may also show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, meaning the day of your event is at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose, which, depending on the type of vaccine, may be one dose or two. Fully vaccinated guests are not required to wear a mask. Everyone else will be required to wear a mask while in The Garden, except while actively eating or drinking.