White issued a statement last night (March 12) on the impact the coronavirus will have on future UFC events. White confirmed that tomorrow’s UFC Brasilia event will be closed to the public. He also confirmed a report that UFC Columbus has been moved to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
White Says He’s Not Panicking Over Coronavirus
The UFC boss Dana White spoke to ESPN and revealed talks with Trump and vice president Mike Pence on COVID-19. White makes it clear that he isn’t panicking (h/t MMAMania.com).
”I talked to the president and the vice president about this, and they’re taking this very serious,” White told ESPN. “They’re saying, ‘Be cautious, be careful, but live your life and stop panicking.’ Everybody is panicking, and instead of panicking, we’re actually getting out there and working with doctors and health officials and the government to figure out how to keep the sport safe and continue to put on events.”
Many sports organizations were quick to issue a statement and take action. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS and other sports organizations suspended their regular season. The UFC has been criticized for not reaching out to the public sooner. In fact, some are saying that even under these circumstances the UFC has failed its athletes.
The world of MMA has certainly been rocked by the coronavirus. Numerous events have been canceled and tonight’s Bellator 241 event will be an empty arena show. With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo saying Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center may be on lockdown for months, what happens with UFC 249 seems to be up in the air. A lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is scheduled to headline that card.
How do you think the UFC has handled things in the midst of the coronavirus?