UFC President Dana White has been very vocal about his feelings towards the Corona Virus. He was very upset when he was forced to cancel 3 UFC shows and has vowed beginning April 18th the UFC will be running its normal schedule despite the Corona Virus.
According to Insider
One event White is adamant will go ahead is UFC 249 on April 18, which is headlined by the box office bout between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson.
UFC 249 was pulled from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, because New York state has 15,592 confirmed cases and 192 deaths, and the situation there is not abating, but White plans to host it in another, as yet undecided, venue.
White told the Yahoo Sports combat columnist Kevin Iole that the show could still take place in America, though.
“[There are] two or three options in the United States and three or four options outside the country,” he said. “Everybody’s on a need to know basis and nobody needs to know right now.”
When it came to health concerns, particularly with regards to actual testing for COVID-19, White refused to confirm or deny whether there would be increased measures in place for staff, athletes, and trainers during near-term events like UFC 249.
“Health and safety isn’t something that just popped up on our radar with the coronavirus,” White said. “It’s something we deal with every week for the last 20 years.”
White said he’s “not some crazy rebel,” has adhered to what the US government has said to do, but is skeptical about sharing his plans with the media.
“The less the media knows the better,” he said. “A lot of this hysteria and this stuff that’s been going on has been driven by the media. The less the media knows, the better off it is.”
‘Since when do Americans run and hide in their friggin’ houses?’
White told Iole he’s been in quarantine for more than a week with his family, saying it has been tough to do with teenage children wanting to get out of the house.
White appears eager to return to organizing elite MMA shows.
“Since when do Americans run and hide in their friggin’ houses instead of taking taking this thing head on and finding solutions?” he said.
“You find solutions in how we continue to live our lives, protect the people who need to be protected.
“I don’t think I’m a high-risk guy for this thing. Maybe I’m wrong! Then, if I’m wrong, the corona is going to get me. I’m not going to hide! It’s like hiding from cancer, you can’t hide!
“If you’re a high-risk person this thing’s going to get you. What’s next … flu season, it’s going to come back like the flu. If this thing’s going to get ya, it’s going to get ya. I’ve had a great run. If the coronavirus is what’s going to get me, I’m ready. Bring it. I’m ready, corona. Come get me.”
On being under lockdown, he later added: “The question becomes how long are we going to do this. How long are we going to stay in our houses and hide. If the coronavirus is what’s going to get me, then so be it. It is what it is. Heart disease, car accidents, cancer … the list goes on and on for all these things that kill people every year.
“One thing guaranteed is we’re all going to die of something.”
Sport can help Nevada rebound, White said
As a leader of a multi-billion dollar business in Nevada, White said combat sport together with the arrival of NFL team, the Raiders, can be the catalyst which attracts tourists back to Las Vegas.
One of those tourist traps could be a fight he called “the biggest fight ever.”
That fight, he said, would be one between Nurmagomedov, should he beat Ferguson next month, and Conor McGregor. The bout could take place at the under construction Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Raiders, and a venue which has a potential capacity of 72,000.
“You need as many things in this town to bring tourists back,” White said.
“The Raiders should definitely help. If Khabib can beat Tony, obviously Conor and Khabib would be the biggest fight ever.
“So a lot of things need to line up for that to happen. The city needs to work hard in putting on events in making people interested in coming back to Vegas.”