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Dana White Addresses Running UFC Events During Pandemic, Figuring Out How to Get Things Back to Normal

April 28, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
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– Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports recently spoke to UFC President Dana White, who addressed the UFC returning to put on new events next month in Jacksonville, Florida during the coronavirus pandemic. As previously reported, the UFC will return with UFC 249 on May 9. The UFC’s scheduled events for next month will be closed to the public and will be regulated by Florida’s State Commission and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. During his chat with Iole, White spoke about if UFC 249 can be run safely during the pandemic. Below are some highlights (h/t MMAWeekly).

Dana White on his three jobs right now: “I have three jobs. I have to take care of my employees. I need to take care of my fighters. I need to get the sport back on track for the fans. Those are the three things I’m concerned with every day in operating my business.”

Dana White on trying to get things back to normal in a safe way: “At some point, we have to figure out, ‘how do you get things back to normal,’ but do it in a really safe way. The only way to find out is to get out there and start doing it. We’re going to spend a lot of money. It’s not going to be cheap. It’s going to be expensive. You’re worried about the health and safety of everybody: the fighters, the commission, the referees, my staff that’s going to be there. It’s not cheap. It’s expensive. It’s hard, but somebody’s got to take the first step and get out there. We can’t just stay in our houses until next December.”

On sending a document to Nevada governor’s office: “We submitted a very comprehensive 30-page document to the governor of Nevada on how we’re going to run the sport, not just the sport, but our office once we get our employees back in here working again. I care very much about my fighters, I care very much about my staff, obviously my family. We’re going to do everything way up here (raises his hand above his head). We always do. Health and safety is an issue for us for the last 20 years. There’s a lot of companies and a lot of businesses out there that now the health and safety of their employees is something new, it’s not new for us. It’s not only something we deal with on a weekly basis, we take great pride that we have such a great track record.”

On the plan to hold events at the Apex when they’re allowed: “Where we’re doing it, none of that even matters anymore. I’m already thinking way ahead of these type of things. All I need to worry about is making sure everybody is safe and I can put on these events. I don’t need a crowd. That’s why I built the Apex anyway. I believe we were heading to a place where we would be putting on fights without crowds anyway, this would be all about streaming. People think that I don’t take this serious because I want to come back so fast and all this other stuff. It’s not that I don’t take it seriously. I take it very seriously. I don’t plan on having a gate for a very long time.”

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Dana White, UFC, Jeffrey Harris