The UFC has had to endure a frustrating couple of months due to the worldwide havoc wreaked by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. One after the other, the organization saw all of its scheduled events for the months of March and April being shelved due to the ongoing pandemic, including the most awaited pay-per-view of the year, UFC 249.
However, the promotion is now looking to shake off the major setback from the cancellation by embarking on an ambitious journey starting May 9, with plans of hosting weekly closed door events set to entertain fight fans sitting at home. Although the decision to hold events at a time when most other sports organizations are refraining from doing so has attracted some negative publicity for the UFC, the promotion seems hell bent to get back to business as usual.
No fans for a "very long time", says White
During a recent interaction with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, UFC president Dana White revealed his plans going forward, and also said that he chose to go ahead with the UFC 249 PPV in May because the organizations nor the fighters can afford to sit and wait for the pandemic to completely pass because no one knows how long it is going to take.
“At some point, we have to figure out, ‘How do we get things back to normal,’ but do it in a really safe way. The only way to find out is to get out there and start doing it. You’re worried about the health and safety of everybody: the fighters, the commission, the referees, my staff that’s going to be there. Somebody’s got to take the first step and get out there. We can’t just stay in houses until next December.”
White also said that he doesn't expect to have audiences coming for events "for a very long time" and that he is actually taking the ongoing situation very seriously, contrary to what many people think because he chose to go through with UFC 249 in May 9.
“It’s not that I don’t take it seriously. I take it very seriously. I don’t plan on having a gate for a very long time. . . I’m already thinking way ahead of these types of things. All I need to worry about is making sure everybody is safe and that I can put on these events. I don’t need a crowd.”
Published 28 Apr 2020, 00:47 IST