How Does UFC Handle COVID-19 Different From Other Sports?

UFC President Dana White has detailed how his promotion takes a different approach to COVID-19 than other major sports organizations.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the world of sports, many organizations were looking for ways to get back to business. The UFC had plans of hosting at least one event on tribal land in California to avoid adhering to state orders but the promotion ultimately pulled the plug on that plan after a call from ESPN executives.

White kept insisting that the UFC had things under control and would’ve left no stone unturned had the event on tribal land gone through. It didn’t materialize and the UFC went the entire month of April without holding a fight card.

The promotion did, however, return with cards inside the UFC APEX as well as “Fight Island,” which is really Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The UFC has conducted thousands of COVID-19 tests and has essentially run its events inside a “bubble.”

Speaking to reporters during a media scrum, White shared his take on the differences between how the UFC has handled COVID-19 testing and the approach of other sports organizations (via

“Look at the history here. Look at what we’ve done and how it’s all worked out. One of the things that we’re not doing that other sports are doing is there’s people that keep testing positive but they have no symptoms and they’re not contagious. They’re letting those guys play, whether it’s the NBA or Major League Baseball. We’re not. That’s the difference.”

The UFC has seen its share of fighters test positive for COVID-19. In fact, some bouts have had to be moved or canceled as a result of the positive test results. A light-heavyweight battle between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira was set to take place on Saturday, September 12. It has been moved to October 3 due to Teixeira’s positive test.

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