As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to worsen, the UFC has now been forced to postpone its next three events. In an interview with ESPN, UFC President Dana White noted that the decision was made after President Donald Trump issued recommendations that no gatherings of more than 10 people should take place for at least the next 15 days.
The MMA organization has stood as one of the only events still continuing through the pandemic, originally planning to move its March 21, March 28 and April 11 cards to the UFC Apex sports facility. Despite cancellations, White did reassure fans that UFC 249‘s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson main event is still set for April 18.
“We’re postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib [Nurmagomedov], April 18 is still on and that will still happen,” White said. “We’re going to follow these guidelines to not have more than 10 people in a room and we’re hoping this all clears up by April.” Going on to reiterate that the fight will happen and that it most likely will not be taking place in the United States. The upcoming fight is the fourth time Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to face each other as numerous delays have forced rescheduling.
When asked about the criticism the UFC has faced in attempting to continue its operations amidst the outbreak, White said, “This is what we do. “We put fights on every weekend. The fighters want to fight. The fans want to see it. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the fans and the fighters. These guys all want to continue. So we will.” Obviously, we’ve had some blowback from the media that covers us, but everybody’s going to have their opinions. We’re going to continue on.”
Catch Dana White’s interview with ESPN above.