UFC President Dana White believes the novel coronavirus outbreak that’s currently sweeping the globe is “a serious problem” and assures that the promotion has been working diligently to determine how best to conduct business under the strain of this health crisis.
“Everybody is fighting with the coronavirus,” White said during a media scrum ahead of UFC 248. “This thing started as a Chinese problem and it’s turned into a global problem. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out through the rest of this year. This isn’t really a Chinese problem, it’s a global problem.
“We all should [have plans],” White added when asked about the measures the UFC is taking in the face of this issue. “This is a serious problem. We’re already working. We’re looking at how this will affect our business this year, and how we battle this thing moving forward. We’re already working on this. We’ve been working on this [since] a month and a half ago.”
While the coronavirus has not had any direct affects on the UFC’s business thus far, it has certainly affected the life of UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang. Zhang, who fights out of Beijing, is set to defend her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 this weekend. The coronavirus outbreak in her native China forced her to move her training camp to Thailand, then again to Abu Dhabi, before she finally made it Vegas for the event.
ONE Championship, one of the main competitors of White and the UFC, has also had to adapt to the threat of the coronavirus. The promotion was forced to convert its recent ONE: King of the Jungle card in Singapore to a broadcast-only event amid worries surrounding an outbreak in the region.
Other sports leagues have also braced for possible shake-ups related to the Coronavirus, while the Arnold Sports Festival recently cancelled a convention due to concerns surrounding the virus.
What do you think of these comments from Dana White?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/4/2020.