A governing body has recommended that all combat sports be suspended until the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic is figured out.
In a release, the Association of Ringside Physicians, led by the Attorney General of California and the California State Department of Consumer Affairs, is looking to put a halt to any event happening within the area. It is considered to hold healthcare members of the highest order. This comes after the UFC announced it would continue to continue on with UFC 249 at an undisclosed location.
“It is our recommendation that all combat sporting events be postponed until further notice,” the ARP stated. “This includes any and all events, regardless of the number of people involved. Any combat sport taking place during this global pandemic places the athletes, officials, and anyone else involved in the event under unnecessary risk of infection and transmission of Covid-19. In addition, combat sports athletes often require medical attention after a bout, and we do not wish to see any additional strain on an already overwhelmed medical system.”
Rumors have been swirling that UFC 249 on April 18 will be taking place on the West Coast. White mentioned to TMZ Sports that the UFC will “pump out fights” every week at the location, including having events on a private island. Could there be a dilemma to the situation?
Jeff Sherwood, the founder of Sherdog.com, managed to come across a report that the event would take place inside Tachi Palace, a Native American casino in Lemoore California. Reservations do not adhere to the rulings of the California State Athletic Commission. It is a similar route Bellator takes when it comes to the Mohegan Sun Casino. According to The Athletic, the Association of Ringside Physicians cannot stop the UFC from holding events.
California will refuse to use their medical team if the event is held in the state.
“(The UFC is) in violation of state and federal guidelines,” stated a regulator to The Athletic. “I know the fighters want to fight, but we have a global pandemic going on, with many people dying. You wonder how many people will even buy this fight for $70, with so many worried about coronavirus and their jobs.”
The UFC will have a medical team of their own and will most likely enforce their own system of judges. Fighters who require medical attention after the fight is something the association is worried about, due to the abnormal amount of people being take care of in hospitals as a result of the coronavirus.
While it is a recommendation by the Association of Ringside Physicians, it is one that is strongly encouraged. The Nevada, New York and California Athletic Commissions have all barred combat sports from taking place, while several other states have ensured that fights were not going to happen. Groups of 10+ aren’t allowed to work with one another, which is why the UFC is going off the books with this one.
White announced last night the main event of UFC 249 will be Tony Ferguson v. Justin Gaethje for the UFC interim Lightweight Title. The full card has also been released, with a number of fighters appearing from previously-cancelled cards.