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Dana White: Me and Vince McMahon are leading the way for sports promoters during COVID-19 crisis

“Realistically the only guy right now who isn’t afraid is me and Vince McMahon.”

UFC 249 Khabib Nurmagomedov Tony Ferguson MMA News Shakiel Mahjouri COVID-19 Coronavirus Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Dana White and Vince McMahon’s message during the coronavirus pandemic is simple: The show must go on.

White and McMahon have carried on with business as usual and are determined to continue hosting events despite mounting criticism from the media.

White recently secured a venue for UFC 249 and McMahon just completed a two-day WWE WrestleMania event that took place behind closed doors and was filmed in advance.

Speaking to ESPN in a recent interview (h/t MMA Fighting), White said the sporting world is in desperate need of leadership during the coronavirus pandemic and that he and McMahon fit the bill.

“I’m ready to get back,” White told ESPN late Monday night after confirming UFC 249 would move ahead as scheduled. “I think a lot of other people are ready to get back. First of all, everybody’s afraid to be first. Realistically the only guy right now who isn’t afraid is me and Vince McMahon.

“Vince McMahon hasn’t skipped a beat. What he did was he found solutions. He found ways, get rid of the crowd, and I’m sure he’s doing everything in his power, too, to make sure his guys are safe. Everybody else is afraid to be first.”

“Right now, we need leadership,” he added. “We need people that are going to go out and find solutions. Hiding in your house is not an answer. I get we have to do it. We followed everything that the CDC has said, but at what point do you start to get back to normal?

“You keep people in their houses for too long with no entertainment, people are going to start losing their minds. We need to start figuring out solutions. That’s what we’re doing. We’re going to do this and keep everybody safe and we’re going to pull this thing off. We’re going to make it happen.”

The UFC is reportedly testing all fighters and staff for COVID-19 prior to UFC 249, which takes place later this month, April 18 at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, California. The PPV extravaganza will feature a headlining interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.