Ultimate Fighting Champion president Dana White announced on Thursday that the UFC's current lineup of live events will continue as planned, despite an increasing number of sporting events being postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. (WWE similarly refused to cancel WrestleMania.)
"We’ve been closely monitoring the situation with the coronavirus and its potential impact on the health and safety of UFC athletes, staff and fans around the world," White told MMA Junkie. "We're moving forward with all our UFC live events, but we’re going to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances."
After White made his statement, a document was circulated to all UFC athletes outlining the series of strict guidelines that must be followed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spreading at events. These include:
- Regular hand washing
- Standing at least 3 feet apart from anybody who is sneezing or coughing
- Avoiding touching your nose, eyes or mouth
- Following good respiratory hygiene, i.e. covering the nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of the tissue immediately
- Staying home if at all unwell
- Staying up-to-date on locations that are deemed COVID "hot spots" and avoiding unnecessary travel
- Informing your doctor and UFC if you start to exhibit any symptoms
Tonight's UFC event on ESPN+ 28 is set to take place in Brasilia, Brazil, albeit behind closed doors without an audience; only production crew and operations staff are allowed into the building.
"None of my fighters ever considered dropping out of the fight, and I don’t know of any other fighters who considered it, either," says Alex Davis, the manager for three of the fighters competing in the event. "The UFC has cordoned off the hotel. They're not letting the general public inside or into the venue on Saturday. They're doing everything they can to keep us all safe."
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