A report was recently released by the New York Times criticizing the promotion’s disregard for their own coronavirus protocol and UFC President Dana White is centering his anger at the report and the reporter.
“F*ck that guy. F*ck that guy,” White said after UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira (via Danny Segura of MMA Junkie). “You know what happened with that guy? That guy who’s never covered the sport was writing a story about Endeavor (UFC’s parent company) and then the UFC was one of the Endeavor … you know. And what happened when this guy and this paper covered the UFC – when they’ve never covered it before? What do you think happened? This f*cking story was huge. They did killer traffic. Now they’re writing stories, three a week, and they’re posting live results. I don’t care what this guy thinks or what he has to say, what he writes. Good for him, he’s pulling traffic.”
Some of the things the NY Times report pointed out was the lack of PPE worn by some of the UFC staff and commentators, no social distancing during fighter interviews and non-gloved hand shaking.
White knows that criticism will get levied against the UFC, but he says all the safety measures have proven to be successful.
“A lot of criticism coming into this week, the fact that we wanted to go, and this d*ck head from The New York Times that found out MMA was popular,” White said. “We’ve had two events now, all the testing that we’ve done, (and) we’ve had one positive. And I don’t know, you guys (reporters) sit in a different position than I. I don’t know how you feel how the whole thing has gone or how it’s felt, and if you’ve felt safe here, if you’ve felt comfortable, but it’s worked. We did what we said we would do. I don’t want to shoot my mouth off – we still have one more to go – but so far, so good. I think what you see now is now you see all the other sports leagues talking about, ‘We’re going.’ Somebody had to get out and be first. I knew we would be, and I knew we could pull it off safely. Like I said before, health and safety is something we worry about all the time. So far it’s been super successful.”
One fighter has tested positive for the coronavirus this week and that was Ronaldo Souza, who was supposed to fight Uriah Hall at UFC 249.