The news had been expected since the escalation of the coronavirus in recent days, it has now been confirmed, the UFC London card due for Saturday, March 21st is now off.
After last night’s UFC show in Brazil went ahead behind closed doors there seemed a chance that London would go ahead without fans, however with the U.S cancelling all flights to the UK from Tuesday, the UFC are now looking for a new venue so the Leon Edwards-Tyron Woodley fight can go ahead, possibly in America, although if flights are cancelled not sure how that would be possible for Edwards.
Las Vegas had been the choice by Dana White as he looked to rearrange two upcoming cards to there however Nevada State Athletic Commision has suspended all combat sports fro taking part in the state. This means the relocated Columbus and Portland cards that were to take place on March 28th and April 11th respectively will now be moved again.
The news broke overnight as UFC supremo, Dana White told ESPN SportsCenter about the relocations.
“Obviously, things are changing by the hour,” White said on ESPN. “This morning, they announced new travel restrictions for the U.K., so [the March 21 event] can’t continue in London. But the fight will go on. We’re working on finding a new venue, likely in the United States, and I have my matchmakers literally working right now to put together the undercard.
“As of now, fights can’t happen at the Apex here in Las Vegas. So, we’re working to find new locations, but the fights will go on; they will continue. We’re not stopping.”
April 18th in Brooklyn which was to see the much anticipated bout between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson finally take place at the fifth time of asking, set fans to speculate that this would fall at the wayside once more, not so according to White.
Dana White says the UFC fights will continue.
“We’re not stopping. We will keep finding a way to put on the fights.” pic.twitter.com/7ixxpFjTSz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 15, 2020
“So, we had possibly a couple different venues for that fight, including Nevada,” White said. “So, now the whole Nevada thing went down, so we’re looking for another venue. I hope by [Sunday morning], I should have two venue options for that fight.
“That fight will happen. It will go on. The fans are all freaking out about that, do not worry. Khabib versus Tony will happen.
“Unless there’s a total shutdown of the country, where people can’t leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen,” White said. “We’re gonna move on. These fights will happen. These guys will compete. We will find venues, and we will figure this thing out. I mean, the only thing that’s gonna stop us is a complete government shutdown, where everybody is confined to their homes.”
At this time the UFC are the only major sporting organisation still planning to go ahead with events after the cancellation of leagues and organisations throughout the world.