Chael Sonnen Urges Against Lifetime Ban For Youth Wrestler Who Sucker Punched Opponent

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Chael Sonnen doesn’t want to see the youth wrestler who threw a violent punch get a lifetime ban.

Hafid Alicea of Maine West High School in Illinois is in seriously hot water after he obliterated his opponent with a disgusting sucker punch after losing a recent wrestling match.

It was one of the most shocking displays of poor sportsmanship fans have seen in a long time.

While many think the hammer should be dropped on the kid for throwing such a brutal punch, Sonnen took a bit of a different approach. He thinks mercy might be the best path to take.

The former UFC superstar said the following during an interview with TMZ:

I would tell you as a coach, the worst thing that a young man should have is free time. You bring in people who have this inside them. You teach them a skill and send them home tired. It’s extremely important. It’s probably one of the reasons that his parents got him enrolled and enlisted him in something like wrestling in the first place. You can’t behave like this. It’s a terrible action. Of course you need class, of course you need some explanation, but 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.

Sonnen also added the kid shouldn’t be “judged for the rest of his life because of five seconds that slipped out on the internet.

Channen Sonnen raises an interesting point.

While there’s no doubt there has to be a VERY significant punishment for Alicea, Sonnen isn’t totally off base.

The young man threw a punch that could have changed his opponent’s life forever. There are people in court all time for a punch that turned out much worse than they expected. It’s an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing to do. The kid needs serious discipline and help.

That leads into Sonnen’s point. Do you want a young man with clear issues out on the streets not supervised or do you want him in a structured environment where you can be constantly watched? The more you think about it, the more the second option starts to make sense.

Chael Sonnen urges against lifetime ban for youth wrestler who threw a punch. (Credit: Twitter Video/

That’s not to say he shouldn’t be punished. Suspend him for a year, make him run sprints but keep him supervised and in a structured environment. It’s very similar to Nick Saban’s famous rant about disciplining players.

“Where do you want them to be? Guy makes a mistake. Where do you want them to be? Want them to be in the street? Or do you want them to be here, graduating,” famously said back in 2014 when talking about second chances.

The young man appears to need some serious help. That would appear to be clear after he threw that punch. Get him help, discipline him and make sure he learns how to stay out of trouble. That’s what Chael Sonnen is arguing and he seems to have a point.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. I disagree with Sonnen here. I think the kid should be banned for life from high school and possible college wrestling. If Sonnen wants to really help turn this kid around, maybe he should have the kid move to Oregon and Sonnen can train him to be a UFC fighter where he can use both his wrestling skills AND his fists. Just one man’s opinion here

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