Unlike other major sports organizations and mixed martial art (MMA) promotions, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) isn’t going to let the coronavirus pandemic slow down business. While Dana White and Co. did close up shop for a few weeks, business will once again resume in two weeks, as UFC 249 is set take place on April 18, 2020.
One of the men competing on the card is Ronaldo Souza, who will face Uriah Hall in ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) main card action, which is expected to go down inside Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California. And while “Jacare” admits he is a bit scared to go out to work with everything going on in the world, it’s a must in order to be able to provide for his family.
“In a way [fighting is] good because we’ll be able to take care of our families,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “I know the world is going crazy, but I believe Dana White will keep us all safe and put us to work. I pray that everything goes right.
“I’m scared, that’s normal,” he continued. “Everyone’s scared. We try to keep everyone protected, but I keep thinking about one thing: if I can’t pay my house’s mortgage, if I can’t pay my bills, I’m going to lose my house. If I go out to the streets, that’s when it gets complicated, that’s when they really won’t be protected. I have to take care of my family one way or the other, and I believe … I know the UFC will keep me protected.”
White did state that all fighters, staff and other select few people involved with the events will be tested before and after the event for COVID-19. It’s a move that gives Souza a sense of relief.
“[The UFC] will take care of everybody. I can stay home, walk across the street and my neighbor infects me with the coronavirus. This virus is highly contagious. I can stay home and catch it. But I’m going to work. I hope God blesses Dana White and the UFC so they really can make it happen and I can take care of my family with safety.”
Married with three boys at home, one can understand Souza’s worries, as well as his need to provide for his family at a time when the economy is a mess and unemployment is at an all-time high as a result of the worldwide pandemic.
It’s an unfortunate dilemma that not only fighters, but pretty much everyone in the workforce is struggling with these days ... UFC included.