Manager Says UFC Isn’t Forcing Anyone To Fight During Pandemic

One prominent MMA manager is praising the UFC for how it has handled things amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 crisis has been devastating for families all over the world. It has also dealt a crushing blow to businesses. The world of sports has been impacted and the UFC is no exception. The promotion has been forced to postpone events but plans to push forward with a card on May 9.

Brian Butler Talks UFC’s Response To Pandemic

Brian Butler, who manages many UFC fighters under Suckerpunch Entertainment, told that the UFC isn’t forcing fights on any one of his clients.

“They don’t want to fight, it’s completely understood,” Butler told MMA Fighting. “We’ve been asked to basically put together a list of our athletes that are domestic that are interested in fighting and that’s it. Even if there are fighters who had signed bout agreements and contracts before all of this went down, if they don’t want to fight in this time period, it’s not like anybody’s upset with anybody. It’s completely understood.

“At the same time, I understand why the UFC wants to get things going again. Like [Suckerpunch manager Bryan] Hamper said, the country needs something right now, because everybody’s just stuck. Watching Netflix is getting old. I applaud the UFC for trying to get it going, and I hope they find a safe way to get it going, because a lot of fighters want to do it and a lot of people want to watch it.”

UFC 249 is scheduled to take place on May 9. It’s set to feature an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Also on tap is a bantamweight title bout between champion Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz. Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer was set for the card but Nunes pulled out as she wanted more time to prepare.