Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is unable to host mixed martial arts (MMA) events in most parts of the world, including the United States, due to the restrictions put in place to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
In fact, the Association of Ringside Physicians issued a statement on Monday recommending the postponement of all combat sports events until further notice. That hasn’t stopped UFC President Dana White from moving forward with UFC 249 on April 18, 2020.
Unsurprisingly, White has faced resistance from the media, as well as prominent physicians who are experienced with cage fights. So to mitigate the threat of harassment, the whereabouts of the UFC 249 location are on a need-to-know basis.
“There’s a lot of creepy people out there, and when they find out the location, they will start attacking the location and making phone calls,” White told ESPN. “So this keeps the creeps at bay.”
The lack of information has kept most fans in the dark, but White argues that we only need to know the date of the fight card, a list of fighters competing, and how to watch it. The rest is irrelevant because UFC 249 will happen behind closed doors (similar to this).
“[These fights] are taking place on ESPN+…. It doesn’t matter [where the events are physically taking place] because nobody can go anyway,” White said. “Nobody can show up, nobody can go. There are some members of the media who have reached out to me who want to go, and I’ll bring them. I’ll bring some of these media members who want to go. But, other than that, it’s not open to the fans ... so it’s on ESPN+ — that’s it, that’s all anybody needs to know.
“We’re going to get all the fighters somewhere … and we’re going to bring them to this location,” White continued. “They won’t know where they are headed.”
Assuming UFC 249 goes off without a hitch, and more important nobody on the card gets sick, the promotion is expected to remain in the same location for the next several shows, giving the rest of the world time to recover before returning to its normal schedule.
“UFC will be back up and running — internationally and here in the states — by April 18,” White said. “We’re going back-to-back-to-back, getting right back into our original schedule. We will have postponed three fights, we’ll make up all these fights, and we’ll be right back on schedule starting April 18. The cards are under construction — we are working on them now.”
To see the finalized UFC 249 fight card and line up click here.