UFC Indefinitely Postpones Next Three Events Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

By: Tristen Critchfield
Mar 16, 2020


The Ultimate Fighting Championship has finally been forced to back down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Las Vegas-based promotion has elected to indefinitely postpone its next three events – UFC Fight Night 171 on March 21, UFC on ESPN 8 on March 28 and UFC Fight Night 172 on April 11 – the United States and the rest of the world race to battle the coronavirus outbreak. UFC president Dana White revealed the decision in an email to company employees, which was initially revealed by statistician Michael Carroll. At the moment, UFC 249 is still scheduled for April 18, though a location and venue have yet to be determined.

The contents of the message (per MMAjunkie.com ) is as follows:

My Crew

This has been a crazy couple of weeks.We’ve been doing everything possible to stick to our live events schedule because the fighters want to fight, our employees want to work, and the fans want to watch our sport.So many people have reached out over the past few days to say thanks for not canceling our Brasilia event on Saturday.

When weird things happen in the world, or when there’s a tragedy, like the October 1 shooting, people want things to get back to normal, and nothing feels more normal than watching sports.

We did everything we could to relocate our next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland. But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule. We can’t even hold an event in Vegas, our home town, because there’s a ban on all combat sports events in Nevada until at least March 25.

As you heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won’t regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.

That’s why we are closing all UFC offices effective immediately, including HQ in Vegas, through at least March 31st, and asking all employees to work from home. The PI will also be closed to all personnel, including athletes, during this time. The next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland—will be postponed. UFC 249 is still scheduled as planned, but the location may change. We’ll keep you posted.

I tell you guys all the time, you are the BEST TO EVER DO IT. It feels shitty now, but WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, and we’ll be TOUGHER, STRONGER, AND MORE BADASS than before.Right now, the number one priority is to take care of yourselves and your family.

Finally, I want you to know that UFC has your back. If you or any member of your family is showing symptoms of coronavirus and you’re having trouble getting to a doctor, please reach out to me, Lawrence, or Hunter.

Thanks,
Dana


As recently as Saturday night, White was adamant that the UFC would move forward with upcoming events. UFC Fight Night 170, originally scheduled for London, was to be relocated in the United States. UFC on ESPN, slated for Columbus, Ohio, and UFC Fight Night 171, set for Portland, Ore., were to be moved to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. However, as White said, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended all combat sports in the state until a March 25 meeting.

Virtually every major sports organization has shut down operations for the time being, and now the UFC will follow suit. On March 14, the promotion was essentially the only major athletic event happening as it held UFC Fight Night 170 in Brasilia, Brazil, with no spectators in attendance.

Help Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus


Sherdog recommends all readers comply with CDC guidelines and remain as isolated as possible during this urgent time. Visit the Centers for Disease Control at CDC.gov or the World Health Organization at Who.int for the latest information on the coronavirus and learn what you can do to stop the spread.
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