UFC championship belt
UFC championship belt / Pic: Benjamin Cooke / Throwdown Photography

Three scheduled UFC Fight Nights have been postponed amid coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes MMA events in London, Columbus and Portland. The status of UFC 249 Khabib vs Ferguson is as yet unaffected.

The scheduled event on March 21 in London was attempted to be relocated to a potential venue in the United States. The main event as well as almost all bouts have been cancelled due to international travel ban.

The events on March 28 and April 11 in Columbus and Portland, respectively, were originally moved to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, but this also fell off.

UFC President Dana White, who has tried hard to keep the event schedule on ESPN going as planned, sent an email to his staff announcing the cancellation of the next three shows. You can read it below (transcribed via MMA Junkie).

My Crew,

This has been a crazy couple of weeks.

We’ve been doing everything possible to stick to our live events schedule because the fighters want to fight, our employees want to work, and the fans want to watch our sport.

So many people have reached out over the past few days to say thanks for not canceling our Brasilia event on Saturday. When weird things happen in the world, or when there’s a tragedy, like the October 1 shooting, people want things to get back to normal, and nothing feels more normal than watching sports.

We did everything we could to relocate our next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland. But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule. We can’t even hold an event in Vegas, our home town, because there’s a ban on all combat sports events in Nevada until at least March 25.

As you heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won’t regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.

That’s why we are closing all UFC offices effective immediately, including HQ in Vegas, through at least March 31st, and asking all employees to work from home. The PI will also be closed to all personnel, including athletes, during this time. The next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland—will be postponed. UFC 249 is still scheduled as planned, but the location may change. We’ll keep you posted.

I tell you guys all the time, you are the BEST TO EVER DO IT. It feels shitty now, but WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, and we’ll be TOUGHER, STRONGER, AND MORE BADASS than before.

Right now, the number one priority is to take care of yourselves and your family.

Finally, I want you to know that UFC has your back. If you or any member of your family is showing symptoms of coronavirus and you’re having trouble getting to a doctor, please reach out to me, Lawrence, or Hunter.

Thanks.
Dana

A highly anticipated lightweight title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is still (as of writtng) currently scheduled for April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The pair have been previously booked four times, from 2015 to 2018. Each time the bout was cancelled due to weight cut issues and/or injuries to both competitors.

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