Coronavirus Threatens Upcoming UFC Events, Including UFC 249
Coronavirus is a serious concern that has been having ripple effects on events throughout the country. Now it seems that those ripples are making their way to MMA.
The stress about the outbreak of coronavirus has been affecting nearly everything. Just this week, we have seen the international travel banned in the U.S., the NBA suspending their season, and much more. As a result, fans have been questioning what they can expect from upcoming UFC events.
Dana White discusses whether the Coronavirus could have an impact on future UFC events. pic.twitter.com/6cQILOjteE
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 8, 2020
Initially, Dana White seemed unfazed by concerns of coronavirus, saying everything would be business as usual. However that has begun to change, as other sports leagues have taken action. Now it looks like the upcoming UFC Brasilia card will likely take place in an empty arena.
That same kind of issue may transfer to UFC 249, featuring the highly anticipated Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson fight. New York officials have banned public gatherings of 500 people or more, due to the coronavirus. The future of the card is undecided at this time, but things do not seem positive.
— Jesse McKinley (@jessemckinley) March 12, 2020
So now it seems that the coronavirus is causing some serious issues for upcoming UFC cards. There are a few options to potentially save these cards from being cancelled completely. The first of those is what they are discussing for Brasilia, which is to hold the event, but not allow spectators.
Another option is to allow for the events to happen at the UFC Apex Center. Although there is a built in cage and limited seating here, this poses its own kind of issues. Specifically, getting athletes to this facility will require interstate travel. Moreover this does not completely protect against coronavirus concerns.
Whatever the UFC decides to do, time will tell. As difficult as it may be, it is important to remember this is for public safety.