Dana White has played down the recent cancellations caused by COVID-19, warning that it is just how the promotion will have to do business for the foreseeable future.
When COVID-19 turned the world upside down, most sports and leagues stood still. One of those who decided the show must go on was UFC President White. Amidst the global pandemic, White has always been adamant that the UFC can safely put on fights every weekend despite the chaos that surrounds it. Despite last-minute fight changes and postponements, UFC has consistently put on fights in their Apex center in Las Vegas, Nevada since they got the green-light from Nevada to host the fights. They initially hosted three shows in Florida from May 9 to May 16 before moving their fights to the Apex, conveniently built-in June 2019.
“It’s all good. We got three-fight (cards) left this year. And we’ll get through it. It is part of doing business these days. If you look back to the old days, we used to have to worry about injuries. Now, it’s injuries and COVID. White told the media following UFC Vegas 15 amid recent cancellations (h/t Bloody Elbow) But for me, COVID’s one of these things we’re all gonna get. We’re all gonna get it. I haven’t got it yet, I’ve been traveling, I’ve been living a pretty normal life. I haven’t got it yet, but it’s like the flu, it’s like the cold, we’re eventually gonna get it.”
The latest pull-outs didn't even faze Dana, despite losing Derrick Lewis vs Curtis Blaydes, who were scheduled to main event UFC Vegas 15. Kevin Holland also had to switch opponents after testing positive for COVID-19, now fighting Jacare Souza on December 12. His original opponent Jack Hermansson is now facing Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC Vegas 16.
With all this uncertainty and fluidity in fights changing, many would wonder if it's worth all the grief, especially that each show has been without a gate, and whether COVID-19 isn't worth the fight. Dana, however, was adamant that the disease is something we just have to live with.