UFC Gives In, Postpones Three Events Due To Coronavirus Outbreak
After attempting to roll with the literal and figurative punches, Dana White and the UFC have finally given in to the coronavirus pandemic.
After finding ways to move upcoming events, including requesting fighters to participate in last-minute bouts, the UFC has officially postponed 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). UFC research analyst Michael Carroll posted the news on social media . Dana praised every one of his employees who has made an effort the last two weeks to keep the company afloat.
Several reasons for these changes includes the recent laws that were put into place. The Nevada State Athletic Commission made it known to postpone all combat sports until March 25. After that, there is a chance the time increases. That includes the UFC APEX Center in Las Vegas. Following an address, President Trump and the coronavirus task force stated that events with 10+ people should not be put into existence. This comes after the CDC recommended events with 50+ people should be out of the question.
The UFC wanted to continue on, and it still put on its UFC Brasilia show in front of no fans. The Brazilian Athletic Commission did not test athletes for the coronavirus prior to the fights.
In an email by Dana White to his employees, thanks to MMAJunkie, here is a piece of how the UFC will be preparing for the coronavirus:
“As you heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won’t regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.
“That’s why we are closing all UFC offices effective immediately, including HQ in Vegas, through at least March 31st, and asking all employees to work from home. The PI will also be closed to all personnel, including athletes, during this time. The next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland—will be postponed. UFC 249 is still scheduled as planned, but the location may change. We’ll keep you posted.
“I tell you guys all the time, you are the BEST TO EVER DO IT. It feels sh*tty now, but WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, and we’ll be TOUGHER, STRONGER, AND MORE BADASS than before.
“Right now, the number one priority is to take care of yourselves and your family.”
The list of postponed events does not include UFC 249, which features a Lightweight Title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Set to take place inside the Barclays Center in April, the UFC will look to find a new home for it as a result of New York officials banning events from taking place there.
Seeing how this could go on for several months, it is unsure what the UFC will do in regards to future events. Dana White was adamant on SportsCenter that the show would go on for the UFC, no matter what.
“Unless there’s a total shutdown of the country, where people can’t leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen,” White said. “We’re gonna move on. These fights will happen. These guys will compete. We will find venues, and we will figure this thing out. I mean, the only thing that’s gonna stop us is a complete government shutdown, where everybody is confined to their homes.”