Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is trying its best to get back on schedule amidst the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent postponement of all upcoming events, including UFC 249 which was originally scheduled to take place this weekend.
While UFC president Dana White is already planning a massive event for May 9 that card isn’t set in stone and must first get approval from state officials and Disney/ESPN executives. White has even proposed a “Fight Island” in order to stage events over the next couple of months, but that is also a work in progress.
As UFC navigates this unpredictable landscape and tries to get back on track as soon as possible, the promotion is going to do its best to keep its fighters informed. That is why UFC is hosting multiple conference calls to keep all fighters up-to-date on COVID-19 and the promotion’s future plans, per an initial report by ESPN.
The first session took place earlier tonight (Fri., April. 17, 2010) at 5:30 p.m. ET. Additional sessions are scheduled for Monday, April 20th at 1:00 p.m. ET and also 8 p.m. ET.
According to MMA Fighting, UFC sent all fighters an email earlier in the week detailing the multiple COVID-19 conference calls. The email also stated UFC fighters are being asked to attend at least one of the three meetings. Managers and other “outside parties” are not authorized to participate.
Following tonight’s initial COVID-19 conference call, MMA Junkie was able to acquire many of the questions that were covered by UFC and White. Here are some of the topics discussed:
- Fighters don’t have to fight if they don’t feel safe
- Event locations will remain secret
- White will be meeting with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to discuss events at UFC Performance Institute and UFC Apex in the near future
- Fighters who had fights cancelled will be prioritized first
- UFC is offering support for any fighters struggling from the COVID-19 outbreak, including family health issues
- Catchweight bouts have been discussed, but remain unlikely
- Fighters may have to choose between cornermen depending on future event limitations
- “Fight Island” is a real thing and it’s open to ALL fighters
- “International Fight Week” in Las Vegas this July is doubtful to take place
- UFC plans on hosting events every weekend starting May 9
- Medical staffs and hospitals will be readily available for every event
Despite its current state of limbo, UFC has done everything in its power to keep the doors open and remain an active MMA organization. The promotion, specifically White, has received considerable backlash from a variety of outlets for attempting to do this while all other majors U.S. sport organizations, such as NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL, remain suspended.
For now, UFC is on hold like much of the sports world. But if the promotion and White get what they are angling for then fighters will be able to return to action very soon.
Stick with Mania for additional coverage on the remaining COVID-19 calls.