While the sports world has all but come to a standstill, the UFC will go on, apparently. UFC President Dana White called in to SportsCenter on Thursday and within 24 hours of almost every other major sporting event in the world being canceled or postponed, basically said that the UFC would be business as usual.
Lest you think White and the UFC are alone in the MMA world, Bellator 241 in Connecticut will take place on Friday night without fans. As we as a society are told to practice social distancing, the people in charge of the sport with the most physical contact and least clothes are soldiering on for some reason.
Here's the status of upcoming UFC cards according to White and ESPN.com.
UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira, Saturday, March 14th in Brasilia, Brazil: This card will take place in an empty arena as the Brazilian government has banned crowds of more than 100 people.
UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards, Saturday, March 21st in London, England: This card will proceed as planned.
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris, scheduled for April 11th, was originally scheduled to take place in Portland, Oregon. It has also been moved to the APEX Center. A week later, the UFC has one of their biggest fights of the year scheduled to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There is little doubt they hope to hold that event in front of a high-paying crowd, but the idea that 20,000 people will be allowed to gather five weeks from now seems far fetched considering the best case scenario for the NBA at that time seems to be playing without fans in the same arena.
UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik, Saturday, March 28th in Colombus, Ohio: This card has been moved to the UFC APEX Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After announcing that the UFC would continue holding fights on Ameircan soil, White then revealed that he had talked to the President and Vice President. While every other major collegiate and professional American sports shut down this week, the UFC spoke directly to the White House and went ahead, basically as planned.
Earlier this week he said in an interview Dana White said, "I don't give a sh-t about the coronavirus." It must be nice to not have to worry.