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UFC President Dana White promises to pull off Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson fight despite Covid-19 stringency

  • Dana White talks about where UFC stands at present in terms of coronavirus restrictions.
  • NYSAC has scrapped UFC 249 but White will make the main event happen.
Anwesha Nag
Modified 19 Mar 2020, 19:21 IST

UFC 249 face-off
UFC 249 face-off

UFC President Dana White is not a person who can be easily conquered, especially when it comes to making fights happen. However, he had to surrender in the face of the growing coronavirus pandemic that has taken over the world in a matter of few months.

After several UFC events were postponed, questions arose on the status of UFC 249 on April 18, which is to feature the much-awaited Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson title fight for the Lightweight belt. In an open interview with TSN over the matter, White talked about all the events leading up to now, and what to expect from UFC in the near future regarding the same.

Dana White asks everyone to stop doubting him

When White went ahead and made UFC Brasilia happen inside an empty arena, the promotion was the only organized sporting organization to be still hosting events. But things changed soon afterwards, as the promotion had to comply with the UK's ban on all kinds of gatherings, leading to the cancellation of UFC London.

At first it seemed like the event might take place in the United States instead, but soon that became a no-go as well. The Fight Night was cancelled entirely, along with two more events that were scheduled on March 28 and April 11.

Dana White
Dana White

As of now, the Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson fight is in deep waters since New York State Athletic Commission has pulled the plug on UFC 249, making it impossible for the event to take place at its original venue of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. However, White is still positive about making the fight happen at all costs, and asking fans to have faith in him.

"If you're a fan, if you're a media member, you'd stop doubting, I would imagine. But, maybe not. We'll see."

Talking about the previous events, White said that they complied with all the regulations put in place by the respective governments at all times. It is only when the maximum number of people allowed in a gathering came down to ten that it became impossible to go ahead with any event.

"We followed and complied with all the rules. Every time they came out and said, I don’t remember what the first number was, then the second number was 50 and we figured that one out, and then when the number got to 10? We’re good, but we can’t pull that one off."

At present, White admits that he cannot say anything with concrete conviction. However, he has his own UFC Apex arena now, and every other resource needed to host events. He promises Khabib vs Tony would not be cancelled yet again, and fans will get the fight they want.

"If you asked me questions 10 days ago I could answer any question you threw at me. I don’t know a lot things right now. Think about this. Las Vegas shut down the casinos I never thought I’d ever see that in my lifetime. Khabib and Tony is going to happen.
"We’re going to make it happen. It’s just going to be a matter of how quickly it would go back to being normal... I have my own arena,” White said. “I have my own production, I have everything. I have everything you need to put on events. So, there isn’t much that I can’t pull off."

Here is the interview in part shared by Aaron Bronsteter via Twitter:

Published 19 Mar 2020, 19:21 IST
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