ONE Championship and ARES Fighting Championship have both elected to postpone upcoming events due to concerns about the rapidly-spreading novel coronavirus.
Early on Friday morning, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that the upcoming ONE: Heart of Heroes card, originally scheduled for March 20 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has been postponed until June 26.
“After discussing all options with the Vietnam Government, my team and I have decided to postpone ONE: Heart of Heroes on March 20 in Ho Chi Minh City,” Sityodtong wrote (h/t Asian Persuasion MMA). “The event will now take place on June 26, assuming the coronavirus situation eases. Bar none, the safety of our fans, athletes, staff, partners, and public are the highest priority for ONE Championship. On a positive note, I am super excited to make the biggest announcement of 2020 (so far) next Friday March 13. Stay tuned!”
Shortly after this ONE Championship card was postponed due to coronavirus concerns, ARES Fighting Championship announced that it will be postponing its second event, scheduled for April 3 in Brussels, Belgium, until October 30.
“ARES Fighting Championship is sad to announce that the ARES 2 event scheduled for the 3 of April 3 in Brussels will be postponed to October 30, 2020,” an official press release announced.
‘The coronavirus epidemic raises serious questions about contagion in closed environments. We don’t know at this stage how the situation will evolve. The health of our audience, international fighters, and staff is our utmost concern and we are not willing to take any unnecessary risks.
“With the full support of all our partners involved and that of the ARES fighters themselves, ARES Fighting Championship has therefore decided to postpone the event.”
Suffice it to say that the coronavirus is having a major effect on the combat sports industry.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/6/2020.