Coronavirus outbreak: UFC to go ahead as planned
The controversial mixed martial arts card scheduled In Florida will go ahead as planned even after one of the undercard fighters tested positive for coronavirus. According to an American sports broadcaster, Ronaldo Souza was dropped from the Jacksonville event after testing positive for COVID-19. UFC vice president Hunter Campbell revealed that other bouts will be fought as rest of the fighters tested negative.
Before Ronaldo Souza was tested positive for coronavirus, UFC chief Dana White reiterated the production will not put anyone at risk. "We have families too. I don't want to die. This isn't just some crazy, this is a well thought-out plan," he said. He added, "We've had very, very smart people, doctors and people that have been involved with the UFC."
Last month, White's controversial plans to stage a fight card in California were perturbed. However, he got a green signal to hold bouts in Florida behind closed doors, from Veterans Memorial Stadium. The event will be headlined by an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Both fighters were present at a weigh-in on Friday, with the members wearing masks.
White believes emanating UFC bouts will be a step towards normalcy, at a time when majority of sports events have been stalled. In April, he stated that US President Donald Trump would keep a tab, in a conference call with US sports league leaders. "The president's take on it was we have to get live sports back first," White told the Los Angeles Times.
"Show everybody how to do it safely. Give people who have to stay home entertainment so they're not bouncing off the walls. From there, we can figure out how we get people back to work and how we get kids back to schools," said White.