UFC postpones next 3 fights amid coronavirus outbreak


FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, Dana White, president of the UFC, speaks at a news conference after the UFC 229 mixed martial arts event in Las Vegas. The UFC is determined to fight on amid the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. The UFC hasn’t canceled any competitions, even those previously scheduled for areas where large gatherings are now banned. White attributes his decision to go against the sports world’s collective mindset partly to a conversation Thursday, March 12, 2020, with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGASĀ (CNN) — The Ultimate Fighting Championship will postpone its next three events as the coronavirus outbreak continues to cripple the sports world.

The postponements come days after Dana White, UFC president, said he would try to keep fights going without audiences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new recommendations ask for people not to go to events with more than 10 people.

“It started at 50 people in a room, which made it difficult but we complied. We took all the fans out,” White told ESPN. “Now they’re saying there should be no more than 10 in a room and that’s impossible. We can’t do it … We have no choice now but to postpone these fights.”

The next three events were set to take place March 21, 28 and April 11, White said.

Prior to UFC’s fight in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, White told ESPN he spoke with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence who told him to “be cautious, be careful, but live your life and stop panicking.”

The March 21 fight was scheduled to be in London, but was postponed because of travel restrictions between the US and United Kingdom, ESPN reported.

The March 28 and April 11 fights were scheduled for Las Vegas, according to UFC’s website.

The April 18 fight is still set to take place in Brooklyn, New York. White said he will look at relocating it, including moving it outside of the US, if necessary.

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