The UFC is indefinitely postponing their next three events in light of the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak following last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 170 that took place without an audience.
The update was provided to UFC employees in an email.
The announcement affects the events that would have taken place on March 21 (featuring Tyron Woodley), March 28 (featuring Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik), and April 11 (featuring Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris). However, Dana White has also stated that UFC 249, set to take place on April 18, is still in the works, though the location may move from NYC. This is the card that will be featuring a highly anticipated bout between Tony Ferguson and 28-0 professional fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As of now, there is no news on whether or not the discontinued events will eventually be rescheduled.
According to MMA Fighting, this was the email that UFC employees received:
This has been a crazy couple of weeks. We’ve been doing everything possible to stick to our live events schedule because the fighters want to fight, our employees want to work, and the fans want to watch our sport. So many people have reached out over the past few days to say thanks for not canceling our Brasilia event on Saturday.
When weird things happen in the world, or when there’s a tragedy, like the October 1 shooting, people want things to get back to normal, and nothing feels more normal than watching sports.
We did everything we could to relocate our next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland. But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule. We can’t even hold an event in Vegas, our home town, because there’s a ban on all combat sports events in Nevada until at least March 25.
As you heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won’t regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.
That’s why we are closing all UFC offices effective immediately, including HQ in Vegas, through at least March 31st, and asking all employees to work from home. The PI will also be closed to all personnel, including athletes, during this time. The next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland—will be postponed. UFC 249 is still scheduled as planned, but the location may change. We’ll keep you posted.
I tell you guys all the time, you are the BEST TO EVER DO IT. It feels sh*tty now, but WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, and we’ll be TOUGHER, STRONGER, AND MORE BADASS than before.Right now, the number one priority is to take care of yourselves and your family.
Finally, I want you to know that UFC has your back. If you or any member of your family is showing symptoms of coronavirus and you’re having trouble getting to a doctor, please reach out to me, Lawrence, or Hunter.
Up until this development, the UFC had been almost the only major sports organization in the United States to continue hosting events in the midst of the outbreak.