Boxing promoter Bob Arum is criticizing UFC president Dana White over his attempts to try to keep running UFC events.
The coronavirus has made its presence felt globally. Lives have been lost. Businesses have been forced to shut down and for some of them, it will be permanent. Major sports organizations such as the MLB, NBA, NHL, and many more have at least suspended the regular season. Despite new restrictive CDC guidelines, executive orders, and the extension of social distancing guidelines until April 30 in the United States, the UFC still plans to hold an event on April 18.
Bob Arum Rips Dana White
While UFC president Dana White has bashed MMA media members as he continues to pursue these events, boxing promoter Bob Arum is taking aim at the UFC boss. Appearing on CBS Sports‘ State of Combat podcast, Arum said that White isn’t thinking things through.
“[White] ought to be ashamed of himself,” Arum said. “What’s going on in this country and the world with this virus, the last thing we need is for an event to take place with no spectators just to get the event to take place. But the truth is Dana White is somebody with a flawed intelligence.”
UFC 249 is still on tap for April 18. The planned main event between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is in jeopardy. Nurmagomedov is still in Russia where a travel ban is in effect.
Many fighters have come to White’s defense. Their argument is that by competing, they will be able to make money during a time of uncertainty. Critics have countered by saying the UFC should assist their fighters in some way without having to hold events during a pandemic. White has said that anyone on the roster who needs help can contact him.
White has boasted that no one in the UFC has lost their job due to the COVID-19 crisis. He’s also been adamant that the promotion goes “overboard” when it comes to the health and safety of their athletes.