UFC president Dana White is already planning ahead in case of a second shutdown.
The entire world came to a standstill in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a number of sports leagues either postponing or canceling their events.
Some states in America, however, slowly started to open up with Florida notably being among the first to deem professional sports an essential service. With that ruling, the UFC was able to resume its schedule last month in Jacksonville after a near two-month hiatus. As of May 30, the promotion has hosted its events at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
White: UFC Has Contingency Plan
Although there have been no major hiccups since for the UFC, there has recently been an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in states that opened up earlier than most. Florida notably saw 3,822 new cases on Friday — a single-day record.
If things continue this way across many states, a second shutdown is only inevitable. If that is the case, White will be prepared this time.
“Yeah. I told you guys going into this thing — I’m always thinking about what’s next,” White told reporters on Friday when asked if there was a contingency plan for a second shutdown. “And one of the frustrating parts about this whole thing is… four months ago, I could have told you anything about this business, where we were going, what was going to happen. I don’t know now. So all I do is sit around and strategize and try to plan. And I’m planning for a second shutdown, that it will happen again.
“I’m always thinking about the worst. When you hear these guys [fighters] talking about when they train, they like to put themselves in the worst positions they can possibly be in — that’s how I look at this business too. What’s the worst position we can possibly be in? And my number one goal is always I don’t want to lay off any of my employees, and I don’t want fighters sitting inactive and not being able to compete.
“When you’re a professional athlete, you have a very small window of opportunity, a very limited amount of time. You know, we get into all the money sh*t and the stuff that’s going on right now. Everybody acts like this is a f*cking career. This isn’t a career. This is an opportunity. Anything can happen at any given moment. Knee can blow out. Your back. Your this, your that. COVID-19, who the hell knows what is coming down the pipeline? So you have to take every opportunity that you can get.”
As of now, the UFC still has two more events taking place in Las Vegas this month. The promotion will then travel to Abu Dhabi next month to kick off its Fight Island events.