Despite Coronavirus Pandemic, Dana White Says UFC Will Not Shut Down Until Ordered

The UFC president says only a government shutdown will stop UFC from holding events

Dana White coronavirus
UFC President Dana White speaks to the media during UFC 246.
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
By Luis Paez-Pumar / March 15, 2020 11:43 am

As sports shut down all over the world, at least one high-profile company plans to continue hosting events for as long as possible. Dana White, president of MMA giant UFC, said his company will not stop hosting fights, albeit with no crowds, until the government orders a full shutdown of the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to ESPN after UFC on ESPN+ 28, White reiterated what he had hinted at this week, saying that the compnay has no plans to follow the lead of the NBA, NHL, and other top leagues in suspending activities while coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world:

Unless there’s a total shutdown of the country where people can’t leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen. We’re gonna move on. These guys will compete. We will find venues, and we will figure this thing out. I mean, the only thing that’s gonna stop us is a complete government shutdown where everyone is confined to their homes.

For now, White and UFC plan to continue hosting the fights for as long as possible, despite any potential health risks to fighters and personnel. It might run into problems with venues, however, as the Nevada Athletic Commission has held meetings about shutting down its venues, which would put at risk any UFC events held there. The NAC will make a decision on March 25 about revoking all combat licenses during the pandemic.

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