The UFC has finally decided to postpone their events until at least April 11.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world of sports greatly. Major sports organizations such as MLB, NBA, NHL, XFL, and many more have suspended operations until further notice. The MLB announced earlier today that the regular season will be pushed back for at least eight weeks.
UFC Postpones Three Events In Response To Coronavirus
UFC president Dana White had been adamant that the UFC will continue to hold all of its planned events unless the United States underwent a complete shutdown. That was proven to be far easier said than done as the promotion can’t even use its UFC Apex setup to hold fights as the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended all sporting events.
Michael Carroll broke the news that White has revealed to the UFC staff that UFC London, UFC Columbus, and UFC Portland have been postponed. MMAJunkie.com obtained a copy of the letter, which you can see below.
This has been a crazy couple of weeks.
We’ve been doing everything possible to stick to our live events schedule because the fighters want to fight, our employees want to work, and the fans want to watch our sport.
So many people have reached out over the past few days to say thanks for not canceling our Brasilia event on Saturday. When weird things happen in the world, or when there’s a tragedy, like the October 1 shooting, people want things to get back to normal, and nothing feels more normal than watching sports.
We did everything we could to relocate our next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland. But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule. We can’t even hold an event in Vegas, our home town, because there’s a ban on all combat sports events in Nevada until at least March 25.
As you heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won’t regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.
That’s why we are closing all UFC offices effective immediately, including HQ in Vegas, through at least March 31st, and asking all employees to work from home. The PI will also be closed to all personnel, including athletes, during this time. The next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland—will be postponed. UFC 249 is still scheduled as planned, but the location may change. We’ll keep you posted.
I tell you guys all the time, you are the BEST TO EVER DO IT. It feels shitty now, but WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, and we’ll be TOUGHER, STRONGER, AND MORE BADASS than before.
Right now, the number one priority is to take care of yourselves and your family.
Finally, I want you to know that UFC has your back. If you or any member of your family is showing symptoms of coronavirus and you’re having trouble getting to a doctor, please reach out to me, Lawrence, or Hunter.
The UFC had plans to hold UFC London inside the O2 Arena this Saturday night (March 21) but the impact of the coronavirus saw a rapid increase in the United Kingdom. Once the UFC announced plans to move the event to the United States, Leon Edwards was pulled from his planned main event with Tyron Woodley.
Reports claimed that the UFC sent out a mass email to managers asking for fighters from regional promotions to help fill up the card. At the time, 11 of the 13 bouts were canceled.
As the letter revealed, UFC 249 is still in the cards. Headlining the bout will be a lightweight title bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. White revealed on ESPN’s SportsCenter that the event will no longer take place in Brooklyn, NY.