Dana White On Holding Events: ‘There Isn’t Much That I Can’t Pull Off’
A gambler himself, Dana White is betting big money on himself and the UFC. With the coronavirus affecting sports and life in general, Dana is hoping to keep his ship afloat.
The UFC held UFC Brasilia last week in front of no fans, in part due to the CDC recommending events with 50+ people not be allowed. While he is being criticized for it, the world of MMA is a crazy place, as he told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter in an interview.
“Health and safety is always an issue with us,” White stated. “A lot of these different businesses don’t deal with this type of stuff, we deal with it every day. We have the best and the brightest. We have these doctors who work with the athletes and these doctors who work with our staff. Health and safety isn’t something new for us, it is something we live with every day, and it is something we think about and are focused on.
“Solving problems and craziness happening is all part of this business, so this is nothing new for us.”
Dana was adamant that the show would go on, as he attempted to find locations for several events. He ended up having to cancel three events: UFC on ESPN+29 (UFC London – March 21), UFC on ESPN 8 (UFC Columbus – March 28) and UFC on ESPN+ 30 (UFC Portland – 4/11). After finding no locations for them, as a result of the CDC and The President, as well as the Nevada Athletic Commission, Dana let loose of the reigns, as it was out of his hands.
“If you asked me questions ten days ago, I could answer any question you threw at me,” Dana stated. “I don’t know a lot of things right now. Think about this: Las Vegas shut down the casinos. I never though I’d ever see that in my lifetime.”
Even with things changing every single day, Dana is not down and out. He is adamant that the fights will go on, if possible. With the NAC suspending events until March 25, there is a chance the ban can get extended. There is also a chance it doesn’t, and the UFC can use the APEX Center in Los Angeles.
One fight is is trying to keep is the UFC LightWeight Title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. The bout, the fifth time it has been booked, was set to take place inside the Barclays Center on April 18. The New York Athletic Commission sent out a message stating it can’t take place there. While Dana is looking everywhere, including at a suggestion of the UAE by Khabib’s father, he has a message for the doubters that believe he can’t get it done.
“If you’re a fan, a media member or whatever you might be, you want to bet against me? You want to bet that I can’t pull stuff off? I mean, at some point, you stop doubting me I would imagine,” White stated. “Maybe not, we’ll see.
“I have my own arena. I have my own production, I have everything. I have everything to put on my own events. So, there isn’t much that I can’t pull off.”