Well, what a week this has been! Coronavirus has officially killed the sporting world, with pretty much every major league and sport cancelling, or at the very least postponing their seasons. However, Dana White and the UFC aren’t canceling their upcoming fight cards just yet, instead, they have made re-adjustments on how and where the events will take place.
Dana White spoke on SportsCenter last night and confirmed that this weekend’s UFC Brasilia event will still be taking place, however it will be behind closed doors and that includes media personnel too. Fighters will be available after the card has finished for interviews but the only people allowed in the venue are the fighters and key staff. That card takes place Saturday night and it should be interesting to see how the whole viewing experience will be effected without any crowd there.
Dana also confirmed that UFC London, which takes place at the O2 in London next weekend, is still taking place and will have fans in attendance. This is obviously because of the UK not taking as heavier of restrictions on public events as other countries in the world, although this could all change over the coming week. The main event is an extremely anticipated one as it sees the UK’s own Leon Edwards take on UFC legend and former world champion Tyron Woodley, in a fight that means a lot for each fighter.
It’s a chance for Leon to prove he should be in the conversation for the title and it’s a chance for Woodley to redeem himself after his embarrassing loss to Kamaru Usman, a fight where he lost his UFC Welterweight Championship.
Dana White had a few more updates on fight cards that are happening further on down the line as he confirmed that UFC Columbus, which is taking place on 28th March with the main event being Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruick, has been moved to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and will still take place on 28th March.
White also confirmed that the UFC Portland fight card, which was scheduled to take place on 11th April, with the main event being Alistair Overeem vs Walt Harris, has also been moved to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and will still take place on the originally scheduled date. Both UFC Portland and Columbus will take place behind closed doors, just like this weekend’s UFC Brasilia.
Unfortunately for fight fans around the world, Dana didn’t comment on the future of UFC 249, which sees the most anticipated fight in UFC history between undefeated Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, a fight that has been canceled 5 times before including some unbelievable occurrences like Tony tripping over a TV cable and something about some bad Tiramisu. If a global pandemic joins the list of reasons why this mega-fight has been canceled then it’s just simple to accept that God just doesn’t want these two to fight, it’s gone past the MMA Gods and straight to their boss having an issue with it.
All of this happened the night before the Brasilia weigh-ins, which didn’t go as smoothly as fans wanted it to. Kevin Lee, who is one half of the main event, weighed in after the deadline and when he eventually weighed in, he was overweight by 2.5 pounds. This threw the main event up in the air, the commission gave Lee another hour to lose the extra 2.5 pounds but that’s didn’t happen, so the main event goes ahead, with Lee’s opponent, Charles Oliveira taking a percentage of Lee’s purse for the fight.
Thankfully for us fight fans, the UFC doesn’t look like it will stop for the foreseeable future and hopefully, the Brasilia card keeps us entertained during this torrid time for sports in general. Find out if the card was worth watching when I round the action up, here on PSN, the start of extended coverage of all combat sports for the site!
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports