UFC president Dana White says his promotion will spend around $150,000 on COVID-19 tests for the UFC Jacksonville series.
White has been adamant for the last two months that the UFC’s show would go on despite the coronavirus pandemic affecting every sports league around the world. After the original UFC 249 card was canceled, White was able to find a home for the Octagon in Jacksonville, Florida, and host the new UFC 249 card there. Following a successful PPV event for the company, two more Fight Night cards will take place in Jacksonville this week.
As part of the UFC continuing to run events, it has ramped up its testing for COVID-19. The tests have been administered for everyone involved in all three of the events in Jacksonville, and the tests worked when they found a positive test on Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and his two cornermen, leading to Souza’s fight against Uriah Hall at UFC 249 being scrapped at the last minute.
Speaking to Tim and Sid, White was asked how much the UFC is spending on its coronavirus testing program. According to White, the UFC will conduct around 1100 tests in Jacksonville for the two cards this week at a cost of around $130 to $135 per test. That means the UFC will be spending nearly $150,000 for its COVID-19 tests for two events.
“We’re getting tested like crazy. This week, not including last Saturday, just this week alone we’ll do over 1100 tests,” White said.
“It’s expensive. All in, it’s probably $130 to $135 a test.”
White said that he himself will be tested eight times, four times for COVID-19 specifically (the nose test with the swab), and four times for the antibodies (fingerprick blood test). When you add up all the testing for the athletes, their cornermen, other UFC officials, the media, and commission officials, the testing costs add up quickly. But if it keeps everyone safe and the events can go on, then it’s money well worth spending for the UFC.
What do you think about Dana White and the UFC spending this money on COVID-19 testing?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/13/2020.