While every boxing promoter has shut down their events for March and April, and some promoters have even shut down business for May, UFC President Dana White is doing everything possible to push forward with his planned event for April 18, which features a highly anticipated pay-per-view fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
Because of the ongoing global pandemic with the coronavirus, White's options on where to stage the event are really thin - but he claims to have ‘four or five locations’ lined up.
White is not against staging the event outside of the United States and behind closed doors.
White informed former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, on the Hotboxin’ podcast, that he wants to give a sense of normalcy to the fans of combat sports.
At the same time, White is receiving a lot of criticism for trying to push this event forward - since it will potentially place fighters and employees in harm's way in terms of possible infection for the COVID-19 virus.
But White shot back at the critics, explaining that his fighters need to make money and they are pressing him to get in there.
"It’s nuts, but I’m going to try and pull off Tony v Khabib on April 18 and try and get some normality back in this country," White said.
Tyson, agrees with White.
"Man the world would need this so desperately,’ Tyson said. "If you could make this happen it’s something that we need. We need something to entertain our intellects right now."
White continued: "I agree with you brother. So every day that I work on this thing, I get another curveball thrown at me when I wake up. So every time we plan something, it falls apart — gotta re-do it and re-do it. So I have four or five locations right now and we’re just getting this deal done. And then we’re going to figure out who we can get in, who we can’t, what we can do, and we’re going to build a card around it.
"It’s f--king crazy man. Everybody is running and hiding. I’m one of those guys that would rather get out there and find solutions. How do we figure this out? How do we beat this thing? Listen, if you are somebody that is a high risk, you should probably stay away and stay quarantined for a while, but what happens when flu season comes again next year? What’s gonna happen then? I think in a year or two, we’re gonna go ‘holy sh-t,’ we shut down the whole world for this thing.
“I’m looking at the positive side, just spending time with my family, hanging out at my house and doing things that I don’t normally get to do. I been working out like crazy. I’m gonna come out of this thing better than I went in. I’ve been a good boy. I’ve been doing what I’ve been told to do. I’ve been locked in my house. Everybody is complying, so we’ll see how this thing plays out.”