UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Two prominent MMA coaches have been suspended and their fighter has been fined for breaching COVID-19 protocol ahead of Bellator 253.

Sanford MMA coaches Henri Hooft and Greg Jones were suspended for three months by Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department of Athletic Regulation head Mike Mazzulli after a video of them breaking quarantine and training with their fighter, Jason Jackson, surfaced on social media.

“It’s erroneous (and) disrespectful to Bellator and the industry in general,” Mazzulli told MMA Junkie immediately following the conclusion of the Bellator 253 news conference.” I don’t care who you are when it comes to a trainer. I wouldn’t expect Randy Couture (to break protocol). I wouldn’t expect (anybody) to do this. It’s a public health issue. They were wrong and that’s what they get.”

Additionally, Jackson, who defeated Benson Henderson by unanimous decision, was fined $1,000 ($500 per coach) for the breach. Mazzulli said the fines are directed at the coaches, not the fighter – with the intention that the coaches will pay the fighter back.

MMA reporter Jason Floyd was the first to report the suspension and disciplinary actions.

The protocol put forth by the Mohegan Tribe and Hartford Healthcare requires anyone participating in a Bellator fight week must test for COVID-19 and enter a 24-hour quarantine period back in their hotel rooms. Each individual is tested every other day, though quarantine is only required immediately following the initial test.

According to Mazzulli, Jackson arrived earlier in the week and partook in his COVID-19 testing and quarantine period. When his coaches arrived later in the week, they took their tests but did not partake in their quarantine periods. Instead, they met Jackson in one of the rooms to hit pads.

All three fighters passed their pre-fight COVID-19 tests in the end, so no action was needed on removing the bout from the card, Mazzulli said.

Mazzulli credited Jackson’s attitude about the situation and said the fighter accepted full responsibility for the situation.

Hooft and Jones’ fines could affect a major UFC title fight in the coming months should the Nevada Athletic Commission or another ABC commissioning body, honor the disciplinary action.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns both train under Hooft and Jones at Sanford MMA and are expected to fight one another for the title on Feb. 13. A location has not yet been revealed for that bout. Mazzulli hopes commissions won’t put the high-profile bout’s nature ahead of disciplinary action.

“I hope all ABC members in the country – well, we have ABC members all of over the world – but in the country will adhere to these suspensions of these two trainers,” Mazzulli said. “We have to set precedent here to show how important it is and make sure you follow the quarantine protocols.”

Mazzulli also added that this incident should signal a warning shot for other teams going forward. If violations become a repeat issue, punishments could become harsher.

Bellator 253 took place Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena. The main card aired on CBS Sports Network after prelims on MMA Junkie.