UFC chief Dana White has revealed President Donald Trump has given the promotion his blessing to press ahead with their upcoming pay-per-view card, despite the coronavirus outbreak. The Covid-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc with the sporting calendar, with events across the globe being cancelled to help curb the spread of the virus.
The UFC have also felt the effects of the virus, with the promotion having to indefinitely postpone three events.
UFC 249, the promotion’s next pay-per-view card, has also been affected by the outbreak, with the event no longer taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 18.
MMA’s premier organisation have been frantically trying to find a new home for the card, which is headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s eagerly-anticipated lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson.
Their decision to plough ahead with the event during the midst of global pandemic has divided opinion, with many claiming they’re making light of the gravity of the situation.
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“Everybody is panicking, and instead of panicking,” the UFC’s president said.
“We’re actually getting out there and working with doctors and health officials and the government to figure out how we can keep the sport safe and how we can continue to put on events.”
White’s latest comments on UFC 249 come two days after he revealed he’s found a new location for the eagerly-anticipated Nurmagoedov vs Ferguson card, which will be one of the biggest of the year.
During an Instagram Live broadcast with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, White said: “I do (know where it is), but I’m not ready to tell you yet.
“I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.”
White doubled down on that statement during a separate interview with ESPN, in which he claimed the card is ‘99.9 per cent’ going to happen.
“Trust me, Khabib has been telling me every day, ‘Send location’,” White told ESPN. “I have it.
“It’s 99.9 per cent. On April 18, we are having this fight.”