UFC president Dana White discusses his plans for the UFC returning to normal activity following UFC 249 on April 18.
Dana White sees UFC activity returning to normal in the coming weeks.
Despite coronavirus concerns and experts predicting the outbreak could very well last months in the U.S., the UFC president plans to resume his promotion’s fight schedule in full beginning with UFC 249 on April 18.
UFC officials were forced to postpone three events due to government restrictions and bans on public gather things UFC London on March 21, UFC Columbus on March 28 and UFC Portland on April 11.
“The fights that were rescheduled, I need to knock them out, I need to squeeze them in somewhere, and yes, we will resume our regular schedule,” White on Tuesday told Yahoo Sports. “They might be with no crowd, they might be somewhere else. I don’t know how this is going to play out over the next several months, but these fights will happen, and I will have them.”
To make up for the lost dates, White says the rescheduled bouts will be added to other cards and even be hosted during potential mid-week events. The full details have yet to be worked out.
“To make up for these events that we’re supposed to happen, they might be on a Wednesday, they might be on a Friday,” White said.
As far as the company’s next event UFC 249, which is a little over three weeks away the promotion has yet to pin down a location for the card, as the company was forced to move from the original location of Brooklyn, N.Y.
White does think he’s getting close, though.
“We have two or three options in the U.S. and three or four options outside the country,” White said. “So I’m not going to tell you. Everyone is on a need-to-know basis, and nobody needs to know right now. There’s still a few details that need to be worked out, but I have a lot of options.”
When asked if fighters, coaches, media, UFC staff and other personnel involved in these future shows will get tested for COVID-19, White refused to give a definitive answer.
“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.”
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White is not a proponent of a lengthy lockdown, as many experts and government officials have suggested in response to the continued coronavirus outbreak. He believes there needs to be a different approach to the pandemic.
“How long are we going to do this?” White said. “How long are we going to stay in our houses and hide? If the coronavirus is going to get me, then so be it. It is what it is. Heart disease, car accidents, cancer, the list goes on and on on, all these things that kill people every year.
“One thing is guaranteed We’re all going to die of something. You can’t be somebody that’s going to hide in your house for months. You’re going to hide in your house for months? For what? No way. To be honest with you, if this goes on for months, I have a great house to be locked up in, man. My house was built for quarantine; we’re having blast over here. I’m spending incredible time with my kids and family. I’m doing two-, three-a-day workouts over here. We’re doing things that we haven’t done with the kids since they were little. I can do this forever if that’s what everybody wants to do.
“But is this what were going to do? Since when do Americas run and hide in their frickin’ houses instead of taking this thing head on and finding solutions? You find solutions on how to live your life, protect the people that need to be protected. I don’t think I’m a high-risk guy for this thing, and if I’m wrong, then the corona is going to get me. It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. I’m not going to refuse to live my life. I’m not going to hide.”
Photos: Dana White gives speech at Donald Trump rally