Boxing promoter Bob Arum has voiced his displeasure regarding the UFC’s persistence in trying to go ahead with events in Florida during the pandemic.
It’s no secret that Arum doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with UFC president Dana White, with the pair constantly going back and forth at one another over the years in one of the most notable rivalries between promoters in combat sports.
During a recent interview with BoxingScene.com, Arum didn’t shy away from giving his thoughts on the UFC returning this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Good luck to them,” Arum said (via MMA Junkie). “I just hope that they’re not endangering the safety of anyone. But this kind of cowboy behavior doesn’t do anybody any good.
“We’re looking now with Nevada, which we’ll do in a sensible way, or California. We’re working with (Nevada Athletic Commission executive director) Bob Bennett and (California State Athletic Commission executive officer) Andy Foster, and we’re talking to the Texas commission,” Arum added. “We’re only gonna do this if it’s safe for the fighters and everyone involved, and if it’s approved by the medical authorities.
“We’re not gonna be cowboys, like Dana White. I don’t wanna get politics involved, but I have really very little respect for Dana and what he’s doing.”
There hasn’t been quite as much of a split in the mixed martial arts community with the majority of fans praising White for being able to put events on again. That being said, there are clear risks to operating during the current health crisis, so hopefully everyone involved is able to stay safe. People are going to enjoy UFC 249 this weekend and they’re going to embrace seeing live sport on their televisions once more, but the repercussions could be dire.
What are your thoughts on this criticism from Bob Arum?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/4/2020.