While it continues to look like UFC 249 will move forward as planned, it still isn’t clear if athletes competing on the card will be tested for coronavirus.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, UFC president Dana White would not confirm that COVID-19 testing would take place ahead of the event. He only continued to reiterated that the promotion would emphasize safety in the same manner that it always has.
”Health and safety isn’t something that just popped up on our radar with the coronavirus. It’s something that we deal with every week for the last 20 years. We will make sure we take care of everybody like we always do,” White said. “I’m not giving the public and the media all kinds of information on what I’m doing, but I’m not acting like some crazy rebel out here with the coronavirus. I’ve done everything I’ve been told to do.”
White did admit that he has been intentionally secretive regarding details surrounding UFC 249. He claims that the fear surrounding the global pandemic is primarily media driven, and that in part is why he isn’t readily sharing information ahead of the April 18 card.
“The less the media knows the better,” White said. “Let me just put it to you this way: A lot of this hysteria has been driven by the media. The less the media knows, the better off it is.
“You’ve known me for a very long time. When my fighters and my people are with me, they’re getting the best medical attention they could possibly get if they’re alone or if they’re home or if they work for somebody else. Everybody that’s with me will get the best medical attention possible. The less media and the public know … you don’t need to know, it’s none of your business.”
UFC 249 is headlined by a lightweight championship clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. White said that he expects to put on a complete fight card for the event, but a location has yet to be determined.