UFC forced to postpone its next three events due to coronavirus

By PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

The UFC has postponed its next three events owing to the coronavirus.

Despite White House advice issued last week to limit mass gatherings to 50 people, organisers had planned to move ahead with UFC Fight Night events on March 21, March 28 and April 11.

However, at a press briefing on Monday President Donald Trump said the US government would be taking further measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, including restricting gatherings to just 10 people.

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UFC president Dana White told ESPN the new restrictions made it impossible for the company to run its events as scheduled.

“We are ready to go live on ESPN on Saturday night from Firelake Arena … in Oklahoma City,” White said.

“We have the card, we have the fighters, we have everything but obviously, the president just spoke to the country (and) now they’re saying there should be no more than 10 in a room, and that’s just impossible.

“We have no choice now but to postpone these fights.”

Despite the three postponed events, White said the UFC’s next pay-per-view event, UFC 249, was still scheduled to take place on April 18.

Global cases of coronavirus. See story HEALTH Coronavirus. Infographic PA Graphics
Global cases of coronavirus. See story HEALTH Coronavirus. Infographic PA Graphics

The planned main event is a much-anticipated lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.

“Tony Ferguson verse Khabib, April 18th, is still on and that will still happen,” White said.

“We’re hoping that this all clears up by April (but) this fight’s going to happen.

“No crowd, probably not even going to be in the United States, but this fight’s going to happen.”

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