UFC fighters' opinions on Dana White's "show must go on" comment following Coronavirus outbreak
- UFC is in a curious position at the moment. #UFC #UFCLondon #Coronavirus
- Dana White has maintained that the show needs to go on.
With the Coronavirus outbreak being labeled a global pandemic, and the situation only getting seemingly worse with the passage of time, there's a lot to worry about it at the moment. UFC's decision to be bullish and continue staging events in the midst of this emergency has been questioned by several people.
UFC Brasilia was held behind closed doors, but it appears that even with these precautions, many are saying that UFC is currently taking unnecessary risks at the moment.
The health of the fighters is something that everyone seems to be concerned with at the moment, as they are exposing themselves to a level of risk. However, even in such a situation, it appears that some fighters are more than willing to take on the risk required so that they can fight for the company.
Anthony Rocco Martin spoke on behalf of a lot of MMA fighters, saying that there were a lot of them who would expose themselves to the virus before not getting to fight. He mentioned that they were not part of a union and were not getting paid to not fight.
While Rocco Martin's comment does bring to mind the conditions that the UFC fighters have to live and fight in, it also shows a willingness on their part to fight.
Kevin Lee also lost his fight against Charles Oliveira, but before the actual event, he was fine with fighting in an empty arena. Fans had questioned whether fighting in such conditions would actually affect the spirit of the event, but UFC Fight Night 170 went off without a single hitch... well, almost.
Others like Francis Ngannou and agent to UFC fighters, Malki Kawa, also spoke up in favor of UFC's decision to continue to run shows in the present condition. Ngannou said that he wanted to help the fans who were stuck at home enjoy their time there.
Right now, even amidst the panic surrounding the coronavirus, the UFC has split the current fanbase down the middle. However, in the midst of this, the fighters themselves seem to be more than okay to fight.
One of the key things to keep in mind is that fighters are not going to be paid if they do not fight. This is a true test of the system that is in place for most of these athletes, as even those who teach MMA at home will be affected with fewer people coming to their gyms to learn in the middle of this pandemic.
In such a situation, the fighters seem to be more than willing to fight. One question needs to be asked here: how many of them would still be willing to fight if they were not in danger of not being able to meet their daily needs due to there being a stand-still?
Fighters like Ngannou and others appear to be ready to take on the risk if it means that they will be able to entertain fans. As the pandemic gets only more serious with every passing day, the system will only be more tested.
After this is over, perhaps it is time to examine the system in place at the moment, as the question arises, what is the price of a human life?Published 16 Mar 2020, 12:14 IST