UFC President Dana White has dropped serious cash to assure that the promotion could chug along during the COVID-19 pandemic.
White made it a goal for the UFC to be the first professional sports organization back after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the sports world to shutdown in early-March. The UFC's final event before the shutdown took place on March 14 in Brazil with no live audience and the promotion did not return until May 9 for UFC 249. When speaking with TSN's Aaron Bronsteter ahead of the promotion's final PPV offering of UFC 256, White covered a myriad of topics. One such topic was the reveal that the company spent approximately $17 million on COVID-19 testing.
Per Dana White, the UFC have conducted roughly 26,300 COVID-19 tests to date with a positivity rate of 0.8%.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 11, 2020
The cost is in the neighbourhood of $17 million.
White, who has been the face of the UFC ever since co-purchasing the promotion back in January 2001, also had this to say about the UFC's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic:
"The COVID thing is more rampant now," he shared. "Another friend that I talked to today, who lives on an island in Alaska, somewhere where they have a population of 4,000 people, over 40 people have COVID there now, and it’s like a big, huge deal."
“This stuff is definitely spreading,” White added. “When we were first going through this stuff, I didn’t know anybody that had it, and then, you know, one employee came up with it and got through it quick. But personally, somebody that I was friends with hadn’t had it yet, and now everyone’s got it, you know what I mean?
“People show up with it, or I think what happened this time, somebody had had contact with somebody else and was training their fighter and then gave it to them,” he concluded. “I don’t know exactly what the deal was, but – yeah, I don’t know.”
UFC 256 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, December 12. The pay-per-view card is headlined by a UFC men's flyweight title fight between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and title challenger Brandon Moreno. Keep up with Fightful for all your UFC 256 coverage.