UFC releases new fight week safety protocol for athletes competing during pandemic

Tony Ferguson, VaynerSports
Image via @ufc on Instagram

The UFC has announced its new protocol to ensure the safety of fighters for its three upcoming cards on May 9, 13, and 16.

The promotion intends on hosting a trifecta of fighting events this month in Jacksonville, Florida. The first event will be UFC 249 on May 9, which had previously been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In an email sent to participating athletes (via MMA Junkie) on Thursday, the UFC outlined all changes for their upcoming fight week, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

UFC Staff, fighters and cornermen only

Only appointed UFC staff, licensed cornermen and fighters participating on the card will be allowed on the event site.

Mandatory daily medicals and testing

Upon arrival at the designated hotel (prior to the fight), fighters and cornermen will be instructed to take part in mandatory medical screenings and tests. The tests will be repeated daily and throughout the team’s entire stay at the host hotel. Testing information will be provided to each individual on arrival.

Hotel staff will be on the premises

Housekeeping staff will still be working on the hotel premises. They will be taking extra precautions to provide 24/7 room service and sanitization of the hotel.

Weigh-in procedure and credential distribution

Teams will also be informed of weigh-in protocol upon arrival. They will be provided with credentials and they must be worn at all times during their hotel stay.

Individual workout rooms

Individual workout rooms with mats and mat sanitizer will be provided for fighters and teams to train in. Personal saunas will also be available.

The UFC Performance Institute to provide nutritional support

The UFC performance institute will provide nutritional support to all fighters participating in the three upcoming cards.

Medical staff will be on the premises

Medical staff will be onsite to treat “performance-related matters” such as injury. Non-essential medical treatments including massage and flushes will not be provided.

Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone
Image via @ufc on Instagram

It is not clear what coronavirus tests will be provided, and how long the results will take to receive. It is also unclear what protocol the UFC has in place if an individual test positive for coronavirus.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/1/2020.