UFC president Dana White says the world’s top MMA promotion is bracing for a second shutdown due to a potential second wave this fall of COVID-19.
Despite all odds against them, the UFC has been pulling off shows since May even with the coronavirus still infecting people all over in the world and especially in the United States. White has remained adamant for months that the show would go on for the UFC and the promotion has made good on that promise with a number of shows in Florida in May and more in Las Vegas in June. The UFC is also planning for a number of events on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi this July and back in Vegas in August.
While things look like they are trending upwards for the UFC for the foreseeable future, White cautioned that the UFC is not out of the woods just yet. The UFC bossman told the media ahead of UFC on ESPN 11 that despite things going well for his organization at the moment, he is bracing for a second wave of COVID-19 later this year, and the UFC is making sure it’s prepared for impact.
“Four months ago, I could have told you anything about this business. Where we were going, what was going to happen. I don’t know now,” White said.
“So all I do is sit around and strategize and plan. I’m planning for a second shutdown, that it will happen again. I’m always thinking about the worst. What’s the worst thing — it’s like when you hear fighters talking about when they train, they like to put themselves in the worst positions they could possibly be in. That’s how I look at this business too. What is the worst position we could possibly be in?”
Despite the coronavirus causing organizations such as ONE Championship to let go of its staff, the UFC staff has so far remained immune to the damage caused by COVID-19. Not only that, but the UFC has been generally able to meet their contractual agreements with the majority of their fighters. There are certainly many things you can criticize White over, but how the UFC has managed the impact of COVID-19 has been impressive so far.
“My number one goal is to not lay off any of my employees and I don’t want fighters sitting inactive and not being able to compete,” White said.
Do you agree with Dana White that there will be another shutdown due to COVID-19?