Dana White Slams MMA Media And Critics Of UFC’s Approach Of The Coronavirus
When it comes to the issue of the coronavirus, Dana White has had an interesting reaction to it so far. The President of the UFC has insisted that the show will go on for the company, even though all major sports have had to postpone events to the disease. The UFC has also had to postpone three events, even though Dana tried to get them to continue.
Over the past few weeks, Dana has been criticized for his take on the ongoing saga, including times when ESPN’s Marc Raimondi was shut down for asking a legitimate question on the virus. The company went on with UFC Brasilia with no fans, even though the Brazilian Athletic Commission did not test for COVID-19 before or after the fights. The event ended up doing the lowest numbers of the ESPN era.
UFC Brasilia card ratings on ESPN – average of 672,000 viewers. Lowest number of UFC on ESPN era – also streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on ESPN Deportes.
— Trent Reinsmith (@TrentReinsmith) March 17, 2020
Regardless, Dana dismissed all the worries by the media and fans alike on an Instagram Live call with UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
“Think about this: Go online and look at some of these people – and this isn’t a knock, this is just a fact: The weakest, wimpiest people on earth cover the biggest, baddest sport on earth,” White stated, via MMA Junkie. “What do you expect them to say? What do you think they’re gonna say?
“Listen, the media can talk as much sh*t as they want. They don’t feed families. They don’t take care of f*cking people. They don’t have people that count on them. They don’t have people to support. We’re doing the right thing as far medical testing goes and everything. That’s all we f*cking do. That’s nothing new. We were doing that sh*t way before the coronavirus. We were taking care of people and making sure that everybody’s healthy, and every fighter that’s with me on the road is getting much better medical attention than they are at home – if they’re with me. You know what I mean?”
Some of the issues the UFC may have over the next few weeks and months heading into fight events are the restrictions taking place. The Nevada Athletic Commission banned all combat sports from the area until March 25. The Las Vegas area is home to the UFC’s APEX Center. The commission could very well extend it, especially after the CDC recommended groups of 50+ people not be near one another. The President just a few days ago lowered that number to ten.
Dana stated that unless the country shuts down, the show goes on. Well, with countries shutting down, as well as a travel ban in the United States and around the world, it may be impossible for fighters to head to events. How confident is Dana that he can get something going? At one point, White stated the following:
“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.”
Regardless of how impossible it might be, Dana is banking on the Lightweight Title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson taking place. Whether it is inside the United States or overseas, like the UAE, nothing will stop the UFC’s fearless leader from fulfilling the dream fight five years in the making.
“Here’s the reality: We will be up and running before any other sport will,” White stated. “Our sport’s different. We have our own arena next door (the UFC Apex). So we will fulfill every fight for every fighter this year, and we’ll get this thing done.”
We shall see if the UFC will be able to do what they believe is possible. According to the latest from CNN, there are over 193,475 cases of the coronavirus, and over 7,865 deaths.