While several key figures in MMA are somehow regularly involved in all these hot topics and debates concerning COVID-19 vaccinations, mandates and even its science, more places and venues continue to tighten up their health restrictions and requirements.
New York and other states are starting to impose vaccination mandates for indoor sports events, and the same is true for Abu Dhabi, which the UFC will return to this October. UFC 267, which will be the first UFC numbered event that isn’t a pay-per-view since 2011, will reportedly require attendees to show vaccination status via Abu Dhabi’s Al Hosn app.
Per source, adults attending #UFC267 in Abu Dhabi will need to provide proof of full vaccination through @AlHosnApp. Those under the age of 16 will need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test from up to 48 hours prior to the event.— Nolan King (@mma_kings) August 30, 2021
The majority of the UAE’s population are already vaccinated — 75% fully vaccinated, 87% at least one dose, as of this writing — so UFC ticket sales shouldn’t be affected as much.
This rule for the UFC’s event on Yas Island also isn’t surprising, as Abu Dhabi now implements a similar mandate for everyone that wants to access public places such as malls, restaurants, gyms, resorts, schools, and others. The local government requires people to have “green status” in the Al Hosn app. Here’s what that means, according to Time Out Abu Dhabi.
Green status appears on the app [for vaccinated people] after a negative PCR test result and remains for 30 days.
Entry is also being granted for those exempted from vaccination who have green status – a negative PCR for unvaccinated individuals is valid on Al Hosn for seven days.
Abu Dhabi also goes a step further and requires booster shots to keep that “green status” and subsequent access to public places.
Authorities went on to say that a booster jab must be taken six months after receiving the second dose of the vaccine in order to maintain vaccinated status.
A grace period of 30 days is given to all those who have taken their second dose more than six months ago before their status turns grey
Dana White, in a slight turn from years of authoritarian policies towards their athletes, said he won’t “force” vaccines on any UFC employees and fighters. While some places still have more lenient rules for performers/competitors compared to the general public attending, other governing bodies could basically start to make those decisions for the UFC, as the promotion continues to travel to more and more places that implement stricter mandates.
UFC 267 will be topped by two title bouts, Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira and Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan 2. The much hyped prospect Khamzat Chimaev is also set to return after his particularly long and tough battle with COVID-19 on that card against Li Jingliang.