Dana White insists that the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will go ahead as planned.
White’s UFC, along with so many other organisations and businesses have been dramatically impacted by the recent outbreak of the coronavirus.
White has boldly made a guarantee that the fight will finally go ahead.
COVID -19 is now a global pandemic and has affected sporting events and large gatherings around the world; just last week governing bodies of the Barclays Premier League and English Football League among others came together to put a halt to the current professional game until at least April 3.
UFC president White has been no exception to the impacts caused by the pandemic and has found his fair share of limitations when it comes to organising fighting events amidst the crisis.
White revealed on ESPN’s “SportsCenter”:
“The fans are all freaking out about that. Do not worry, Khabib vs. Tony will happen.”
White is adamant that the fights will continue.
“We’re not stopping. We will keep finding a way to put on the fights.”
A major roadblock in Whites case would be limitations in where staged events are being allowed to take place given the situation.
The fight can no longer go ahead in New York or Nevada given the tight restrictions the government has placed on public gatherings of over 500 people at present.
UFC 249 is pencilled in for April 18, Khabib-Ferguson is billed as the main event on the pretty stacked fight card.
Originally, the fight was scheduled to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.; however, given the recent ban on public gatherings, this can no longer happen.
Las Vegas was the most sensible alternative, though, in light of the situation, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has since voted to revoke licenses for combat events through to March 25 – it’s next review.
Several fights cards are to be suspended and moved to other dates, two fighting events scheduled for March 28 and April 11 at its Apex Facility in Las Vegas as well as March 21 UFC Fight Night in London have all been affected and put on hold for now given the circumstances.
Exclusively explaining to ESPN, White vows to have two new “venue options” to be confirmed.
White also hinted at staging various events inside empty arenas with just essential personnel present – much like he did with a Fight Night card in Brazil.
"Unless there's a total shutdown of the country where people can't leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen," he said, referring to UFC 249 and other upcoming events.
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