Dana White: UFC on ESPN 8 Moving to Las Vegas from Columbus Due to Coronavirus

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2020

Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, speaks at the behest of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

While much of the sports world is canceling or postponing its seasons and events, the UFC is apparently doing no such thing despite concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

UFC president Dana White appeared on SportsCenter on Thursday and said UFC Fight Night 170: Brasilia will take place Saturday but without fans. He also said UFC London on March 21 will go ahead as scheduled with spectators, although UFC on ESPN 8 on March 28 is moving from Columbus, Ohio, to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. 

That is because Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the state will ban gatherings of 100 people or more due to the coronavirus.

White said he talked to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence when making this decision.

He also said the UFC is looking into technology that will check the body temperature of spectators as they enter the arena as a precautionary method.

The UFC's decision to continue holding events stands in stark contrast to many other leagues. Among the most notable developments as the sports world reacts to the coronavirus were decisions from the NCAA to cancel the men's and women's basketball tournaments, the NBA and NHL to suspend their seasons and Major League Baseball to cancel spring training and push back the start of its regular season.

According to CNN, more than 4,600 people have died as a result of the coronavirus. More than 124,500 have been infected worldwide.

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