The UFC remains full-steam ahead with plans for events to be held this Saturday, March 28 and April 11 despite continuing wide-spread panic over COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. In an interview with ESPN, UFC president Dana White explained the decision.
“We’re not stopping,” White said. “We will keep finding a way to put on the fights.”
This past weekend, the UFC held a card in Brazil minus anyone in attendance. With it being one of the only live sporting events in the nation, the card was moved from strictly ESPN+ to both, the digital streaming service and ESPN.
The UFC was set to head to London this weekend for an event featuring Tyron Woodley vs. Leon Edwards. However, due to the travel plans put in place by President Donald Trump, that was changed. Edwards pulled out of the main event, and the exact place – and lineup – for the card remains a mystery as of now.
“Due to rapidly changing circumstances in the U.K, including recently implemented travel restrictions, UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs Edwards, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21, at the O2 Arena in London, will be relocated,” the UFC wrote in a prepared statement. “The organization is looking at the available options, including in the United States. Additional details will be announced in coming days. O2 ticket holders may seek a full refund at the point of purchase. UFC looks forward to returning to London at the earliest opportunity.”
The other two cards, scheduled for Ohio and Portland, were shifted to Las Vegas, but that has changed as well with the Nevada Athletic Commission looking to suspend all combat sports in the state.
“The fights can’t happen here in Vegas, so we’re working to find new locations,” White said. “We’ll keep finding a way to put on the fights. I’m in the fight business ? I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and this stuff happens to me every weekend, so I’m used to this stuff. Not at this level, obviously, but this is what we do. We always make sure the fights happen, and they’re going to continue to happen.”