UFC COO Says Promotion Needs To Go 3-0 In Jacksonville To Move Forward With Safety Protocols

The UFC returned to action this past weekend with UFC 249, which featured Justin Gaethje defeating Tony Ferguson in the main event to win the UFC Interim Lightweight Title.

This past weekends card was run during the coronavirus pandemic and UFC COO Lawrence Epstein says the promotion must go 3-0 in Jacksonville to ensure they move forward with the safety protocols.

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“We spent four or five weeks putting together the plan,” Epstein told MMA Junkie. “We, I thought, executed on it incredibly well. Like anything in life, nothing is perfect, and there is always room for improvement, so that’s what we’ve been doing literally since that event ended – just analyzing everything we did, trying to figure out what the opportunities are to get tighter and get better, and making sure that people are committed. We’ve got three events here. We need to go 3-0. Going 2-1 is not going to cut it. We’ve got to go 3-0 here in Jacksonville and make sure all of these events are perfect.”

There was a hiccup prior to UFC 249, as Ronaldo Souza and his two cornermen did test positive for the coronavirus.

Epstein says that Souza was quickly isolated while he and the cornermen got all the proper medical attention.

“There’s no doubt it was a serious situation, and there was concern at multiple levels,” Epstein said. “First of all, we want to make sure we get him out of the ecosystem, which we did. Second of all, we’re concerned about him. We want to make sure that he’s properly taken care of and that he’s going to get whatever medical attention that he may need or his corner guys may need.”

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira is the next of those three Jacksonville cards for the UFC and that event takes place tomorrow night.

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