Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate says she is OK with UFC president Dana White’s plans to keep the UFC running during the coronavirus pandemic — as long as he does so safely.
Even with the pandemic ravaging the world, White announced this week that he plans on following through with the UFC’s upcoming events, with the first four taking place at Tachi Palace in California and then the next batch of events taking place on a mysterious private island. By contrast, ONE Championship — which employs Tate — has canceled its upcoming two cards, despite originally announcing they would take place behind closed doors.
The contrast between what White and the UFC are doing and what ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong is doing is stark, and Tate realizes that.
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Tate explained that she’s glad that ONE has postponed its events but also can’t fault White for following through with his plans.
“We’ve been ahead of the curve in every aspect when it comes to safety and we’re definitely not looking to challenge the authorities and what they’re trying to do to mitigate this process,” Tate said of ONE’s decision-making during the pandemic. “It was the right decision to make, and we’re looking to throw live events again as soon as a safe opportunity presents itself.
“Dana is a totally different animal and he is a bit hard-headed in his approach,” Tate added. “I think, for the UFC, he’s been a great leader for the most part. He has been exactly what they needed. I mean, where would the UFC be without Dana White?
“You can’t expect Dana to be the kind of man that he is and do everything he’s done to make the UFC a success and then all of the sudden change when something like this happens,” Tate continued. “Dana is who he is, and I give him props because he’s done some amazing things, but I appreciate that we [at ONE] err on the side of caution because I don’t want people to get sick. I don’t want people to die.”
“Dana has a different approach, but Dana’s not going to do anything illegal. If he can find a way to throw an event within the guidelines, I’m not going to knock the guy for being ambitious. But I hope he does take into consideration that the rules need to be followed. It needs to be safe. I think he’s willing to do that.”
At this stage, it’s impossible to say if Dana White’s plans will work out, or if he’ll wind up wishing he canceled events like ONE Championship did.
Do you agree with Miesha Tate and her take on Dana White’s plans?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/9/2020.