Due to the Coronavirus, the UFC has been in a downward spiral these past two months. Despite their best efforts, the UFC was forced to cancel or postpone multiple events. Dana White sheds light on these issues in a recent interview with Kevin Iole from Yahoo! Sports.
White recently announced that the UFC is looking to make a big return on May 9th with UFC 249. And to make sure that everything goes ahead smoothly, White claims that all UFC events are going to take place behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.
“Obviously, the world is going to be different and I’ve been thinking far ahead into the future. I don’t expect to have a gate for a very long time. I’ve already thrown that out the window. You have to look at all the different things.” said Dana White.
While the world is going through a global epidemic, many feel that this is not the right time to machine-gun through fight cards. Several people have criticized White for not taking this pandemic seriously and for taking rash decisions.
“People think that I don’t take this seriously because I want to come back so fast and all this other stuff. It’s not that I don’t take it seriously. I take it very seriously. All I need to worry about is making sure everybody is safe and I can put on these events,” explains White in an attempt to justify his stand.
White claims that the UFC had been working on setting up fights without a live audience ahead of the Coronavirus lockdown.
“I don’t need a crowd. That’s what I built the Apex for anyway. I believe that we were heading to a place where we would be putting on fights without crowds anyway. It was going to be all about streaming.” says White as he implies that he was more than prepared for such a situation.
The UFC President has been spearheading the movement to bring the world back to where it was. According to the American businessman, someone needs to take the first step towards achieving normalcy. And White is certain that he is the one who is tasked with that burden.
In addition, White wants to set an example for other institutions on how to traverse over this volatile territory safely. “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.”
However, White knows that it is not going to be an easy task. Financially speaking, it is a big burden for an organization that is strictly against any pay cuts or laying its employees off.
“It’s not going to be cheap. It’s going to be expensive. You’re worried about the health and safety of everybody: the fighters, the commission, the referees, my staff that’s going to be there. It’s hard, but somebody’s got to take the first step. We can’t just stay in houses until next December,” says White.
Dana White has been working relentlessly towards getting the UFC back on track. However, in such troubling times, this admirable determination could be mistaken for foolhardiness. Or maybe not. Only time will tell.
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