As the UFC moves forward with UFC 249, questions have come up to the safety of all those involved with the event, from the fighters to the coaches, and all event personnel, and what safety precautions will be in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. One fighter on the card, Francis Ngannou, provided a very encouraging update to how the UFC will be handling the event from a safety standpoint.
After their fight in March was postponed, Ngannou is scheduled to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 on April 18, and spoke to BJPENN.com about the precautions in place for the event. Making an appearance on BJPENN.com’s Inside The Cage, Ngannou revealed that he and his team will be tested for COVID-19 prior to UFC 249, and he had no worries about the UFC keeping him and everyone involved healthy and safe.
— Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) April 9, 2020
“Yes, definitely, I mean first off, I had no doubt about that I know that they [UFC] are going to do whatever it takes to keep us safe. Just even before the quarantine, the precautions that they were taking at the P.I. [Performance Institute] it was just amazing to see how they were careful about everything, and tried to do everything to protect people. Now with the fight, I just had a call that we’re still going to get tested before we go out there, me and all my team which once again, I feel good about it. That’s something that makes you believe in the safety of the event.”
Ngannou would go on to add that he personally feels safer being at UFC 249 than he does in public settings like the grocery store.
“I mean technically, it’s way more safe than the grocery store out there. They don’t test people before they go to the grocery store and you see those people when you walk through the grocery store, it’s just scary. So this for me, this is less risk than going out for groceries because I know all the people that I’ll be around will be tested and good, so I feel very secure about it.”
This news comes as a very encouraging sign for concerns about fighter and event staff safety ahead of UFC 249. Although Francis Ngannou was previously tested before the fight became official, testing before the fight makes even more sense. There are reportedly going to be more precautions in place at the event, and additional testing for all involved is a very good sign.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/8/2020