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Combat sports are officially canceled.
From Premier Boxing Champions to the UFC and Bellator, there is nothing popping in the fight business currently. This especially sucks if you are a subscriber of content where the value was placed on exclusive event access and coverage.
Coronavirus has major states like California, and cities like New York, all practicing non-essential personnel quarantines. This extends into the fight event schedules because most major cities are where the high-level fights are booked.
However, even with upcoming promotions like Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships (BKFC), they had to cancel a scheduled bout in Wichita, Kansas.
“With the health and safety concerns of everyone involved, and the mandate carried out by officials, it is unfortunate that we were not able to put on BKFC 11, which would have been our highest attended event yet,” said BKFC founder and president David Feldman. “We have rescheduled the event for Saturday, June 20. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody affected at this difficult time.”
So now on weekends, it’s all roulette since there are no combat bullets in the chamber. Pause.
Cue UFC President Dana White
Then on the horizon, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s Dana White emotional over his intent to stage UFC 249 anywhere. He gives no what’s about coronavirus, media opinions, or anything else. The show must go on!
That’s his stance.
Mine is that Khabib Nurmagomedov is awesome and to see him battle Tony Ferguson in a great stylistic matchup is definitely wanted.
However, coronavirus is outchea and although it might not seem dangerous, it’s definitely labeled a pandemic.
In fact, whole sections of cities like New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City, have been quarantined and California has a state-wide mandate. Today, both New York and California announced more shutdowns to barbershops, salons and personal care businesses.
The nation’s most populous state is ordering its nearly 40 million residents to stay home. Nineteen people have died and more than 900 tested positive for coronavirus in California.
With venues like the Staples Center and The Forum now out of commission, the loss has affected everyone from arena personnel to professional athletes and fans.
Still, can you blame White for not wanting to leave the fans hanging? Although the next three UFC events have been postponed, White wants to keep this elusive super-fight alive.
He knows it has the potential to become a Khabib vs. McGregor style moment where PPV coffers are singing the event’s praises forever. But the timing is all wrong for any major public gatherings.
The last event where Kevin Lee lost to Charles Oliveira in Brasilia, Brazil was devoid of fans and fights occurred in an empty house. The vibe was off and it was evident.
Unfortunately, we will have to deal with the fact that all the potential match-ups in the world won’t curb coronavirus. Social distancing will. Still, we will keep Dana’s energy high because the fight must definitely stay alive.