While most sporting events have been postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus, and almost all major sporting leagues have temporarily closed doors, UFC president Dana White is adamant that the show must go on.
This unconventional approach has led to a serious backlash from MMA media, but White has chosen to ignore the criticism while continuing to set the example for the rest of the sporting world during this time of crisis.
Speaking to UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman in a recent interview on Instagram Live, White labelled those in the media ‘the weakest, wimpiest people on earth’ whom almost never have anything good to say about the UFC.
“Here’s the reality: We will be up and running before any other sport will,” White said, per Simon Samano of MMA Junkie. “Our sport’s different. We have our own arena next door (the UFC Apex). So we will fulfill every fight for every fighter this year, and we’ll get this thing done.”
“Think about this: Go online and look at some of these people – and this isn’t a knock, this is just a fact: The weakest, wimpiest people on earth cover the biggest, baddest sport on earth,” White said. “What do you expect them to say? What do you think they’re gonna say?
“I have over 350 employees who work for me. Multi-billion-dollar companies are laying off all their employees right now. We haven’t laid off one person at the UFC. And every fighter that fights for me will fight three times this year. Our schedule will go on. Everybody’s gonna get paid, and we will figure this out, and we will be the first sport back on. And, uh, f*ck that sh*t. Everything will go on.”
White didn’t confirm whether the UFC will able to test fighters for COVID-19 but the 50-year-old says the UFC has some of the best medical testing in combat sports.
“Listen, the media can talk as much sh-t as they want,” White said. “They don’t feed families. They don’t take care of f-cking people. They don’t have people that count on them. They don’t have people to support. We’re doing the right thing as far medical testing goes and everything. That’s all we f-cking do. That’s nothing new. We were doing that sh*t way before the coronavirus. We were taking care of people and making sure that everybody’s healthy, and every fighter that’s with me on the road is getting much better medical attention than they are at home – if they’re with me. You know what I mean?
“I told our whole roster: If you or your loved ones have any type of situations or anything wrong, call me. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you get taken care of.”
Although the UFC’s next three shows have been effectively cancelled, White is confident that UFC 249 will still go ahead on April 18.