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Dana White on coronavirus: ‘I just don’t know how long we can keep the world shut down’

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“There’s a lot of things that will start to snowball as you continue to keep people locked up inside their houses with nothing to do and no entertainment and a lot of people who aren’t making money.”

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UFC president Dana White thinks government-mandated lockdowns and economic restrictions are going to cause serious long term consequences if the world isn’t back up and running in the coming weeks.

Speaking to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole in a recent interview, White said that it’s only a matter of time until people start getting restless — and perhaps even desperate — when more and more people lose their jobs and can’t afford to buy basic items such as food and clothing.

“We’ve shut down the world, and we’ve controlled it [the Coronavirus] the best we can,” White said. “I just don’t know how long we can keep the world shut down. There’s a lot of things that will start to snowball as you continue to keep people locked up inside their houses with nothing to do and no entertainment and a lot of people who aren’t making money. They’re going to start running out of money to buy food and things like this.”

“I know all the hippies want to look at this thing and go ‘Oh, we gotta care about this that and everything else.’ You know, people being out and productive and making money is a big deal too. For your mind, for everything. And I have to start coming up with ways to work around this and figure out how to get people back to as close to normal as possible.”

People are, indeed, already getting restless, as government-imposed lockdowns have sparked worldwide protests and civil unrest in countries such as Germany, the United States and Canada. People are also beginning to question the effectiveness of lockdown in helping curb the spread of COVID-19, as Sweden claims to be nearing national ‘herd immunity’ despite imposing far fewer public restrictions than many other countries.

The UFC’s next event — UFC 249 — will take place on May 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, and feature a headlining interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje as well as a co-headlining bantamweight championship bout between Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz.