UFC president Dana White fired back at critics of the way his promotion has handled the coronavirus pandemic, boasting the UFC hasn’t laid off any UFC employees.
The UFC has come under intense scrutiny from fans for holding UFC Brasilia last weekend while rival Bellator 241 postponed its events, and for planning on going forward with UFC London and several other events until the government stepped in. While White was not able to save his cards scheduled for London, Columbus, Portland and Brooklyn, he certainly tried his best for those events to go on despite the coronavirus outbreak around the world.
Speaking to CNN, White defended the UFC’s actions amid the coronavirus pandemic, and even bragged the UFC hasn’t laid off any employees while other companies have.
“I could care less … I haven’t laid off one employee,” White said. “You can accuse me of whatever you want … You know what I did? I told all my people — if any of them or their family members get sick, or have any problems, you call me, and I will get you taken care of.”
While White may not have laid off any UFC employee in his offices or event staff, the promotion has not made any sort of statement about compensation for the fighters who saw their fights get scrapped for cards during the next month. Many of the fighters scheduled for the canceled cards, such as Ashlee Evans-Smith for UFC London, have publicly asked they be paid at least their show money.
To be fair to the UFC, no one could have imagined how devastating the coronavirus outbreak would have ravaged the world, but it is surprising the UFC hasn’t announced payments for its fighters yet while rival Bellator did. It seems very much like the UFC and White specifically were caught off guard by the magnitude of this virus.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” White said.
How do you feel UFC president Dana White has handled the coronavirus pandemic?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/19/2020.