Coronavirus, UFC & WWE News: Latest on COVID-19 Fallout
Will UFC 249 be canceled? We'll keep you updated.
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Life seems to be changing for all of us with every hour that passes, but I’m going to use the space below to keep you updated on how the combat sports world is affected by the COVID-19 virus.
UFC officials are working on moving the March 28 event from Columbus to the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Florida officials delayed a decision on cancelling WrestleMania until next week; if WWE hasn’t come to a decision on their own, the county will reconvene and decide for them.
Major League Baseball cancelled the remaining spring training schedule. The start of the season will be delayed by at least two weeks.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has banned all gatherings of more than 500 people. The ban is effective Friday. This would affect UFC 249 next month.
The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix was cancelled, and Major League Soccer suspended their season. A similar announcement is expected from Major League Baseball. And yet, nothing from UFC, Bellator, WWE or AEW.
The Euro 2020 football tournament has been delayed to 2021.
Saturday’s UFC event in Brasilia will take place behind closed doors after city governor Ibaneis Rocha declared a ban on all large gatherings in the city.
ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that all upcoming events on the promotion’s calendar will take place in empty arenas. The promotion recently ran its ONE 109 event at an empty Singapore Indoor Stadium.
President Trump announced that effective on Friday at midnight, all travel from Europe—not including the United Kingdom—to the United States is suspended. The virus is already spreading here, though, so I’m not sure how effective this will be. But if you’re planning on traveling from a non-European country for a UFC or WWE event, you should see about securing a refund, because you probably won’t be traveling after all.
Saturday’s UFC Brasilia event is in jeopardy after governor Ibaneis Rocha announced tonight that all sporting events with large crowds have been suspended until March 16.
The NCAA mens and womens tournaments will be played in empty arenas.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Wednesday that he will issue an order banning all large gatherings. “In the next several days we will sign an order on mass gatherings in the state of Ohio,” DeWine said. “Let me reiterate what the experts have told us, that there is a risk in any kind of mass gathering. The bigger the gathering, the bigger the risk. The closer you are to people the bigger the risk.” A public order would leave the UFC with no choice in how to proceed. You can expect more stories like this one in the coming weeks. The UFC’s March 28 event in Columbus would be affected.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to chair a Cobra meeting tomorrow where he will announce the UK is moving from “contain” to “delay,” a tacit acknowledgement that the crisis won’t conclude quickly. This would affect the UFC’s March 20 event in London.
The IBJJF Pan championship—one of the biggest jiu-jitsu events of the year—has been canceled. The four-day event was scheduled to take place at UC Irvine next week.
What is Coronavirus?