This week, New York City imposed a new tightened vaccine mandate to curb the rising cases of COVID-19 and the feared Delta variant. New Yorkers are now required to show proof of at least one vaccine dose to be able to enter an establishment.
This mandate obviously affects the 80 million unvaccinated American adults, including UFC fighters. Number four-ranked lightweight contender Michael Chandler, for one, says he may not make it to his planned UFC 268 fight against Justin Gaethje because he refuses to get inoculated until the vaccines are “100 percent FDA approved.”
Fortunately for him, he has his boss’ full backing. UFC president Dana White spoke to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter recently, saying he won’t implement the same vaccine directives.
I would never tell another human being what to do with their body. If you want to get vaccinated, that’s up to you. That’s your choice.
You’re never gonna hear me say, I’m gonna force people to get vaccinated. Never gonna happen.
I think a lot of people are doing that. They’re telling you in New York, you can’t go into a restaurant or a gym unless you’re vaccinated and can prove it and things like that. Some people are getting fired if they don’t get vaccinated. That’s not gonna happen here.
If you wanna get vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you don’t, that’s your decision, your body.
White’s unsurprising stance on the matter very much affects the company’s plans for UFC 268, which is targeted for Madison Square Garden in November. But if they don’t land their intended venue, the bossman is more than willing to look elsewhere.
We’ll see as this stuff starts to play out. I told you guys a million times, I’m gonna go wherever I can run a normal event. I said that I would be first and I would do the first indoor sold-out arena with no social distancing and no masks and none of that stuff. We did it.
We did it in Florida, we did it in Texas, we did it in Arizona, we did it in Vegas. We’re gonna sell out again this weekend in Texas.
I don’t know what the future holds or what’s gonna happen as this stuff continues to play.
I don’t care what happens, how it goes, how these different states run their stuff… I don’t care anymore. I’m ready to roll. I have plans now.
The plan is New York, but if New York doesn’t work out, I’ll move it somewhere that it will.
As of this writing, daily new COVID-19 cases in the US have reportedly exceeded the 100,000 mark nationwide, the highest it’s been in the last six months. The seven-day average of new reported cases is said to be at 95,000, a five-fold increase in less than a month.