Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White brags to mixed martial arts (MMA) media about the success of his plan of operations, which has established health and safety protocols for these athletes – as well as for staff and the media – in the field. Jacksonville, Florida.
The simpleton version? Coronavirus is bad, social distance is good.
But in the absence of measurable data to support or refute White’s claims, we only had a few arbitrary numbers (1,200 tests per week!) And these free videos on Twitter featuring “Sunshine State” fighters with cotton swabs got stuck in the nose. .
A New York Times (NYT) reporter then released a copy of the “Jacksonville event plan of operations” (read here), which described a shipment of precautionary measures to help combat the spread of COVID- 19. Unfortunately, these measures have not been followed to the letter of the law.
The NYT called the coverage “patchy.”
“A lot of criticism is coming this week, the fact that we wanted to go, and that New York Times dick who discovered MMA was popular,” said White (via MMA Junkie). “We have had two events now, all the tests we have done, we have had a positive one. I don’t want to pull my mouth out – we have one more to do – but so far so good. So far, it’s been a great success. “
As of this writing, the UFC is making its way through three MMA events in Jacksonville. The first, UFC 249 returning on May 9, lost a coronavirus fighter after the weigh-in. The second, which took place last night on ESPN +, went off without a hitch.
The third comes out this Saturday. night (May 16) on ESPN.
“Damn this guy,” continued White. “Do you know what happened to this guy? This guy who never covered the sport was writing a story about Endeavor … and what happened when this guy and this newspaper covered the UFC – when they never covered it before? What do you think happened? This fucking story was huge. They trafficked lethally. Now they write stories, three a week, and they publish results live. ”
Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, has been making headlines in recent weeks for its financial crisis, which has had a direct effect on the promotion’s return schedule. White’s spin, however, puts the UFC at the forefront of the “return to normal lifestyle” movement while hoping to pave the way for other major sports.
We will certainly have more answers after this weekend’s event in Jacksonville.