As a promoter himself for Submission Underground, Chael Sonnen can see why Dana White is adamant about moving forward with UFC events amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Submission Underground 12 is scheduled to take place tonight (March 29). It’ll air live on UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET. Sonnen had to follow protocol in order to bring the event to Portland, Oregon. That means SUG 12 will be held behind closed doors.
Sonnen Sees Where Dana White Is Coming From
UFC president Dana White has taken flak for insisting on going through with UFC 249 and rescheduling other events. White has blasted the MMA media for criticizing him. Speaking to MMA Fighting, Sonnen said he and White are in a tough spot and simply want to pay their fighters and staff (via Bloody Elbow).
“I personally don’t prescribe to ‘everything stops in its tracks,’ and it does appear that those are your only two choices right now, right? You’ve got a green light and you got a red light. Look, there’s ways to do things that are safe. There’s ways to do things where you’re listening to the experts and you’re in full compliance. If you can pull that off and move forward? I mean, people need to make a living. People need to have a job, have something to do, have their goals, and move forward. I’m not going to stop them, but I’m not going to overly look away, man. We’re dealing with something serious.”
Sonnen went on to say that he understands the concerns that people have but he can’t wrap his head around why White is taking so much heat. Sonnen said that the UFC boss has to juggle the worries of fighters not being able to get paid along with the promotion’s reputation in the public eye for holding events at this time. Sonnen feels that White “can never win” with his critics.