Dana White had to both defend and promote his decision to put on UFC 249 and so far, it seems to have been a successful move to make based on reported pay-per-view buys and being the first sport returning since the pandemic began. With two more events in Jacksonville on tap for the UFC, White seemed to double down on his message to other sports wanting to return; “Do it in Florida.”
It makes sense since sports were deemed essential in Florida, in the same week of UFC 249 All Elite Wrestling held an event in Jacksonville. The safety protocols were in place for the UFC, and most of them were carried out as announced. In an interview with TMZ, White said that the decision making process is different when compared to other sports as he is the one that decided to try moving forward during the pandemic. “Here’s the problem I think for some of those guys,” White explained; “When you talk the decision making process I mean you want to go during a pandemic? I want to go and I think we can figure this thing out. I think we can make it safe, you know. I make that decision.”
The model of other sports does not allow for those decisions to be made by one person, especially in league sports that have unions and team owners. “These guys have 30 something teams you know, all these different people involved different owners,” White said of other sports but reiterated that he has been contacted for input on moving forward. Despite the differences between the UFC and other organizations, White doubled down on the statement he made during the post-fight press conference following UFC 249.
“If you are a sport that’s coming back right now, and are looking for a place to go, do it in Florida.”Dana White
“I would suggest, anybody else who’s out there right now, anywhere in the country or in the world and you’re looking to do your first event back, come to Florida,” White said after UFC 249 and he reiterated that with TMZ the following Monday, “If you are a sport that’s coming back right now, and are looking for a place to go, do it in Florida.”
Do you agree with Dana White?