UFC 250 fighters are in a precarious position, as they need to train for their upcoming fights amid a global pandemic.
COVID-19 has spelt disaster for all live sporting events, including many inside the MMA bubble. UFC President Dana White has already cancelled three fight cards but has dug his heels in on UFC 249, which is scheduled for April 18.
UFC 250 is scheduled to take place the following month on May 9 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. With a daily increase in Coronavirus cases, the fight card’s destiny remains uncertain. If concessions can be made to bring the event to fruition, it is almost guaranteed that it will take place from a closed arena.
Meanwhile, the majority of MMA gyms have been closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This leaves UFC 250 fighters in a predicament as to when and how they should train. It is also unclear if the fighters will still be paid if the fight is canceled.
Fighters are not just concerned about their safety, but the risk to vulnerable loved ones.
MMA Fighting recently spoke to several fighters on the UFC 250 bill to get their takes on the situation. Keep scrolling to see what they had to say.
Beth Correia – fights Pannie Kianzad at UFC 250:
”Those who have a fight booked are trying to keep training at a high level while trying to take care of themselves and also deal with the panic of their relatives.”
”My family is very apprehensive … I need to train at the highest level and have contact with other people. So I think it should be postponed until this situation gets better. It can’t be in Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is the state most affected by it, 90 percent of the deaths are happening there, so in my opinion, we should protect ourselves. Health comes first.
“We have to train MMA, and training jiu-jitsu and grappling are quite complicated because there’s a lot of contact. We get really scared. And then you go home and your family gets worried.”
Carlos Felipe – fights Sergey Spivak at UFC 250:
“Everyone has their hands tied. I’ve been trying to keep my body active and train at home the last few days, especially because it’s hard to find a training parent at times like these. People are in panic and following the guidelines, so pretty much every gym has closed. We’re doing what we can.”
August Sakai – fights Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 250:
“The situation in Sao Paulo is ugly, it’s hard to know which the decision they will make. I hope for the best, that the event happens with fans in the arena. I’m staying positive. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. It’s hard to stay focused with all the news and everything that’s going on in the world, but I’m trying to stay positive and not let bad news take over my head.”
“If the UFC offered fighters part of their purse to stay home, I would definitely take better care of myself. I can’t say because it hasn’t happened, but I don’t think I would stop training, but I would stay active inside my house and follow the quarantine. It would be great, but since that’s not the case…”
Would you like to see UFC 250 happen? Or do you think Dana White is putting fighters at risk by continuing on with the fights?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/30/2020.