Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White will stop at nothing to keep hosting fights. This includes spending millions of dollars on COVID-19 testing to ensure the safety of his staff and fighters.
White, who helped UFC become the first major sports organization to return from COVID-19 purgatory earlier this year, has done everything in his power to keep the UFC machine working like it always has. Unfortunately, that’s been nearly impossible for the global MMA promotion during a year full of coronavirus cases, last-second cancellations, and unpredictable travel restrictions.
In turn, White and company have not only crafted a unique “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi to host all the fights they want, but also an extensive COVID-19 protocol to make sure fighters are coronavirus-free when they step inside of the Octagon.
In a recent interview with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, White revealed that UFC has administered over 26,000 COVID-19 tests since its return back in May. The cost in doing that is close to $17 million. A steep price the promotion will gladly pay to keep the train moving.
Per Dana White, the UFC have conducted roughly 26,300 COVID-19 tests to date with a positivity rate of 0.8%.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 11, 2020
The cost is in the neighbourhood of $17 million.
Despite this massive amount of money spent on COVID-19 testing, UFC hasn’t produced perfect results across the board. With coronavirus cases on the rise in America the promotion has seen countless fighters test positive over the past few months and main events get clipped because of it. No matter how hard the promotion tries it simply can’t outrun COVID-19.
Still, a 0.8% positive rate is pretty amazing considering the amount of tests dished out over the past six months. It will be up to White and company to continue that success heading into 2021 as an official COVID-19 vaccine remains in limbo.
UFC will be back in action tomorrow night (Sat., Dec. 12, 2020) to host UFC 256 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. A flyweight title fight between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will serve as the main event.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 256 fight card right HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.