UFC president Dana White addresses coronavirus worries: 'We're always concerned'
LAS VEGAS – The coronavirus outbreak’s impact has been felt all over the world in recent weeks.
Due to the expanding spread of the outbreak, numerous major festivals, MMA cards and other events are being monitored. Other events like the Arnold Sports Festival and, in the MMA world, “ONE Championship: King of the Jungle” have proceeded without audiences. Some events, such as the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and ARES 2, have been canceled outright.
At a UFC 249 news conference Friday, company president Dana White was asked if or how he expects the coronavirus to impact the promotion. According to White, the organization is interested in doing what’s best for the fans and the fighters and is looking into the situation.
“When it comes to safety of the athletes and the fans and everything else, no matter where we go or what we do, we’re always concerned,” White said. “We’ve been thinking about this for weeks. (UFC) Dr. (Jeffrey) Davidson has been involved. I don’t know what else to say other than that.”
One thing is for certain, however. White said UFC 249 is not in jeopardy because of the virus. If he’s right, UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov will still be able to defend his title against longtime rival Tony Ferguson at the April 18 event.
“We’re not cancelling the event,” White said.
UFC 249 takes place April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.
Check out Dana White’s coronavirus comments from the UFC 249 tickets on sale press conference in the video clip above.
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