While sports events across the globe are being postponed and canceled due to the COVD-19 coronavirus outbreak, the UFC is marching to the beat of a different drum. Instead of following what seems to be the worldwide protocol of halting scheduled events, the world’s largest and most popular MMA promotional company has set on a course that will keep its fight schedule moving forward.
That doesn’t seem to be a very popular move among some. MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta blasted UFC president Dana White’s plan to move forward with Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night card in Brazil as “irresponsible, bordering on malfeasant.”
For Chiappetta, and those that share his personal view on the matter, the UFC is essentially taking advantage of its fighters and putting company profits ahead of fighter safety.
Chiappetta writes per MMA Fighting, “Most UFC fighters won’t speak up, and frankly, most of them can’t because they need the money. At this point they have put in weeks of camp, likely working through injuries and suffering through minimal, meticulous diets to reach their contracted weights. Their money isn’t guaranteed, so they are willing to risk injury—or illness—to earn it.”
What Chiappetta believes is that the UFC should pay its fighters and cancel its events until more information can be sorted through by health officials out about the coronavirus.
UFC ‘Took Too Long to Respond’ to Coronavirus Outbreak
Chiappetta isn’t alone.
MMA Junkie’s Dave Doyle also criticized the UFC’s response to the outbreak. According to Doyle, UFC president Dana White and other leaders within the UFC should have followed what other sports leagues chose to do, and they should have done it a whole lot faster.
Doyle asserts that White’s relationship with President Donald Trump is somehow to blame, though it’s clear from Doyle’s rhetoric that perhaps the writer views everything from the lens of his personal political affiliation.
Moreover, nothing the UFC does at this point would satisfy Doyle or similar minded people.
“The UFC is already the sports entity that took too long to respond in the face of a pandemic,” Doyle writes per MMA Junkie. “Just like the President for whom White stumps dragged his feet, which put us all in the mess in the first place. It’s past due time to start giving a (expletive) about this.”
Is Criticism of the UFC Fair?
Is the criticism fair?
Indeed, the job of the media is to look at everything with a critical eye, so anything and everything companies such as the UFC do is always open to media members offering their takes.
So Chiappetta, Doyle and any other media members offering their own ideas about what’s best for the UFC, fighters, fans and partners alike is always something that can and probably should exist. In fact, in honestly handing out their assessments about how the UFC is handling this unprecedented situation, Chiappetta and Doyle are doing their jobs.
But the UFC’s job is to manage its own affairs. The situation is very likely way more complex than either writer is willing to admit right now, and there is at least some merit in how the UFC is doing everything it can to ensure life can go on with a modicum of normalcy.
Trying to keep its fights going might not be the right move, but it also might not be the wrong one. No one really knows right now.
Most importantly, it’s the UFC’s call to make.