When the UFC took the decision to indefinitely postpone three of its shows, including the April 11 fight card in Portland, Oregon, Tristan Connelly was in the midst of preparing for his second UFC bout.
The UFC welterweight, who claimed an upset victory against Michel Pereira in his short notice UFC debut in Vancouver last August, was training in Las Vegas when he found out that the events would be postponed. With no choice but to return to his native British Columbia, Canada, Connelly flew home and waited to see what the fallout would be.
While Connelly’s career is on hold until the UFC is able to return to a consistent schedule, he is staying in shape in case he gets another last-minute call to compete. However, the delay is not without its costs.
When Connelly started his training camp in January for his scheduled bout at UFC Portland against Alex da Silva, he put his job as an MMA instructor on hold to travel to Las Vegas and train at several gyms, including the UFC Performance Institute. Now that he will not be collecting a fight purse, Connelly revealed that he has had to endure significant financial loss.
“I sacrificed not making money teaching lessons to go train for the fight,” Connelly told CBC.ca. “The money I put into training and travelling for the fight is all gone, the money I was going to make for the fight is all gone, and all my other sources of income are all gone, so it’s going to be tough — and I’m right in there with the rest of Canadians in the country.”
There are currently more than 37,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 1729 confirmed deaths and 12,915. Connelly’s native British Columbia has less than 1700 cases and a total of 86 deaths. Overall, there are 2,512,061 confirmed cases worldwide and approximately 173,400 deaths. The global mortality rate is 6.9%, though the rate of infection is rising dramatically in places like the United States, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.
As for the UFC welterweight, he revealed that he “has a baby coming” in July, which has only added to his overall anxiety and desire for a consistent stream of income. Beyond that, Connelly is disappointed that a delay would cost him one of the best years of his athletic career. As someone in his athletic prime and riding momentum from his promotional debut, the time away from the cage is painful to endure.
“It’s a year in the best years,” the 34-year-old added. “And that’s what really hurts right now.”