Last weekend the UFC held their UFC Brasilia event while most of the sports world was put on hold, and in a way, they provided some sports entertainment for fans who were without sports, but that decision did not come without criticism. While the event was held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many questioned if the fights should even take place as all other sports had been suspended.
On Wednesday night UFC President Dana White spoke to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN about the decision to put the fights on last weekend and how he evaluated the possible risks versus rewards in continuing on with events.
UFC president Dana White on weighing the risk versus reward of continuing to run events, screening measures for coronavirus this past weekend and whether there would be an event this weekend if public gatherings were still limited to 50.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 18, 2020
“Health and safety is always an issue with us. A lot of these different businesses don’t deal with this type of stuff, we deal with it every day. We have the best and the brightest, we have doctors who work with the athletes every day and we have doctors who work with our staff, too. Health and safety isn’t something new for us, it’s something we live with every day, and it’s something we think about and are focused on every day. Also, solving problems and craziness happening is all part of this business, so this is nothing new for us.”
Dana White would go on to say that there were no additional precautions for COVID-19 testing taken by the UFC for the UFC Brasilia event last weekend. As for continuing on with events, White said had the CDC not recommended event gatherings being limited to 10 people or less, he would’ve planned for events like UFC London, scheduled for this upcoming weekend, to still take place.
“Of course there would. We’ve followed and complied with all the rules I can’t remember what the first number was, then the second number was 50, so we figured that out, and once they got to 10, we’re good but we can’t pull that one off.”
As the sports world has come to a screeching halt in these trying times, it appears as if Dana White and the UFC were ready to stick to business as usual, had the CDC not stepped in with their recommendations on mass gatherings.