When the global pandemic first hit, UFC President Dana White was hellbent on operating the UFC regardless of COVID-19. Over the course of the virus spreading, the UFC was the long sporting organization that decided to keep putting on shows. In real-time, the idea seemed irresponsible and dangerous for the fighters and staff workers put in place to make sure the shows run smoothly. Now, White is saying that the UFC continuing to stay running during the virus allowed the organization to save $200 million for the fighters to be paid.
UFC President Dana White did everything in his power to make sure that UFC 249 happened. First, he shuffled the deck by trying to gather a high profile crop of fighters to make it the best show possible. During that time, he ran into Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rose Namajunas being unable to fight. Which was awful considering that they were apart of the card’s main and co-main events.
Dana White on Remaining Open During Covid
White also had a difficult time finding venues to host the shows. Thus, the usage of the UFC Apex Center and Fight Island was born. Dana spoke with BT Sport and revealed how the virus affected the UFC.
“Nobody got laid off, no salaries were cut. And then when you look at the fighters, every fighter contract was honored,” White said. “Quitting is never the solution. I was blown away by how many people were willing to just quit. Fascinating to me.”
“If I decide (t)o forget it, we’re not gonna go, we’re just gonna sit this thing out like all these other businesses did, you’re talking, I’d have had to lay off probably 50-percent or more of my staff,” White continued. “You’d have cut all the executive salaries in half… or more. You’re talking almost $200 million that wouldn’t have been paid to fighters, and the list goes on and on.”
Where does the UFC rank compared to other sports in regards to protecting their athletes from the virus? Furthermore, are fans excited to get back inside of the arenas?