The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) has agreed to list the upcoming UFC 249 card as a sanctioned event.
UFC 249, which is scheduled for April 18, was originally expected to go down in Brooklyn, New York, but has been moved to the Tachi Palace Casino on tribal land in California as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, the ABC was hesitant to list the event as sanctioned.
“The ABC concurs with the Association of Ringside Physicians that it’s a very trying time for the entire world,” the ABC wrote in a statement to The MMA Report. “Fighter safety is paramount. If the fight occurs, it will be considered a non-sanctioned event since a state/tribal commission will not be present.”
Since then, however, the ABC has changed its tune. Speaking to Mike Heck of MMA Fighting, ABC president Brian Dunn revealed that UFC 249 will be listed as a sanctioned event after all.
Dunn points to the fact that the UFC often regulates its own events when operating overseas. The ABC feels the promotion is capable of doing the same on tribal land.
“After speaking with UFC officials, the ABC board of directors determined this event could be listed as sanctioned,” Dunn said. “When the UFC does international events, they regulate themselves using Nevada Athletic Commission inspectors, and this event on sovereign land is no different.
“There will be no sanctions imposed by the ABC for any athletes or officials involved in the event,” Dunn added.
Having spoken to UFC officials, Dunn is confident that the promotion will take the proper steps to ensure the safety of all involved during the coronavirus pandemic. If the promotion is able to do so for UFC 249, he believes the ABC will acknowledge future pandemic-era UFC events as sanctioned, too.
“I was told that in addition to all usual medical testing requirements, they would screen everyone for COVID-19, have additional doctors and had made pre-arrangements with the nearest hospital to assure the immediate treatment of injured athletes.
“If the UFC continues to properly regulate future events, which I am sure they will, future events will be treated the same,” Dunn added. “We would treat events held on mystery islands the same as well.”
Are you surprised that the ABC has decided to list UFC 249 as sanctioned?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/9/2020.