White has taken some heat for how he’s handled things in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The UFC boss has called MMA media members the “weakest, wimpiest people on earth.” He’s also said the mainstream media is making the coronavirus more “scary” than it actually is. White has insisted his fighters want to compete and are in good hands medically.
White Says UFC Goes ‘Overboard’ With Health Of Fighters
Appearing on the Heavyweight Podcast, White said that he’s received a positive reception from fighters for wanting to hold events and reschedule cards that have been postponed (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“We go overboard with everything all the time,” White said about medical precautions taken for the fighters. “Think about this … in the 20-year history that I’ve been involved and before me, there’s never been a death or serious injury. That’s crazy. Cheerleading can’t say that. We go completely overboard with health and safety even before the coronavirus. The health and safety part is nothing new to us. It’s now just trying to be able to maneuver as the world continues to freak out and lose their mind over this coronavirus stuff. All my fighters want to fight. My staff wants to work. Everybody who’s involved in what I’m doing is absolutely willing and able to do this.”
White went on to say that he has made it clear that if a fighter needs help during the pandemic, he will do everything he can to assist them.
“The thing is with my fighters, when they’re with me, they’re getting the best medical attention they could possibly get. Better if they were home alone by themselves or whatever their situation is. I’ve reached out to everybody, not just my employees that work for me, but my fighters, too — if them or a loved one becomes ill and needs me, I’m here. I will do everything in my power to help and take care of them. That’s a given always. This fight will go on.”
The next scheduled event for the promotion is UFC 249. White is trying to hold the card on its initial April 18 date. The event was initially set to take place inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. An executive order in New York stomped out those plans. In addition, the UFC couldn’t move the event to their Apex facility in Las Vegas due to the NSAC suspending all sporting events.
To make matters worse, the UFC 249 main event is in jeopardy. UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is still in Russia, where a travel ban is in effect. Nurmagomedov has said the UFC plans to push forward with UFC 249 even if he can’t make it.
White attempted to move UFC London, UFC Columbus, and UFC Portland as well. Ultimately, CDC guidelines forced him to postpone those events. White revealed he plans to reschedule those cards.