Despite mass gathering bans and travel restrictions amid the worldwide coronavirus epidemic, the UFC remains undeterred in continuing to operate in a business as usual fashion.
UFC president Dana White appeared on SportsCenter Saturday night (video below) to address the recent changes in Las Vegas where Nevada has suspended all combat sports events as well as a decision to move this Saturday's London, England, show, likely to a location in the United States.
With regard to UFC 249 on April 18th headlined by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, White said that show cannot go forward as planned in Brooklyn, NY, due to the state's mass gathering ban. White hoped by 10 AM Eastern Sunday, he will have two venue options and the show will happen as planned.
"We will keep finding a way to put on the fights. I'm in the fight business. I've been doing this for over 20 years and this stuff happens to me every weekend, so I'm used to this stuff. Not at this level obviously, but this is what we do. This is what we do and we always make sure the fights happen and they're going to continue to happen," White said.
UFC, owned by Endeavor, had planned to run two upcoming shows at their APEX facility in Las Vegas, NV, but the Saturday development on the combat sports ban prevented it. With most states and countries enacting various mass gathering bans in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, the UFC will seemingly have to go the route of empty arena shows if they are to keep running.
They did just that Saturday in Brasilia, Brazil, an event that ran on ESPN.
But with travel and lodging considerations for the fighters, staff, and the production crew, finding such a location may prove challenging.