White hasn’t been shy in saying that the COVID-19 crisis is the most difficult situation he’s had to deal with business-wise. The UFC boss takes pride in the fact that no one in the UFC has been cut due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that said, the tough times roll along and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. In fact, White is already preparing in case there is another shutdown.
Dana White Sympathizes With Rival Promotions Dealing With Layoffs
Speaking to reporters during a media scrum, White said that he sympathizes with any rival promotion that has been forced to let people go due to the pandemic (h/t MMAJunkie).
“You guys, most of you have known me for a very long time. Whether you like me, you hate me; you don’t agree with me, you agree with me – when I come out and tell you something is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and there were a lot of powerful forces battling against us for this to happen. And I don’t wish that on anybody.”
The UFC was out of commission for the entire month of April due to COVID-19. While the promotion tried everything to keep business rolling that month, state orders, CDC guidelines, and athletic commission rulings forced the UFC to wait until May 9. While White says the promotion is back on track in terms of scheduling, the lack of live gates stings.
Still, White has been adamant in his belief that people are looking for any sense of normalcy. He feels it’s the reason why UFC events on ESPN have been pulling in high viewership numbers. UFC 249 reportedly took in about 700,000 PPV buys, which is well above what many believe the event would’ve done pre-pandemic.