UFC president Dana White has revealed a major concern he has resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. During the presser after Dana White’s Contender Series on Wednesday, White spoke about how the development of up-and-coming fighters has been affected by the pandemic.
MMA Junkies’ John Morgan asked White about plans for next year’s Contender Series, when it would start and how many shows there will be.
“That I don’t know, we’re going to have and see,” White said. “One of the things that concerns me, and I think I talked to you guys about this earlier in the year, we’re not feeling it yet but we’re going to feel the pain of the pandemic over the next year, year and a half, with some of these small shows not operating.”
Dana White’s Contender Series is a show that allows new fighters to compete for a chance at a UFC contract. These fighters typically only have a handful of professional fights that they’ve competed in throughout the regional scene. However, due to COVID-19 and the regulations that have been put in place to curb the spread of the virus, many smaller promotions haven’t put on shows. Because of that, a lot of newer fighters haven’t had the chance to get into a cage and fight.
“When the world was normal, there were shows every weekend all over the world,” White continued. “Multiple shows every weekend pumping out young talent. We’re going to feel this by the end of next year.”
The UFC also announced that it is bringing back The Ultimate Fighter, which will also take some of the available talents and further affecting the number of fighters for the Contender Series.
Of course, the promotion doesn’t just sign fighters who compete on the show but also established fighters from all over the world. With smaller promotions not running, a lot of these fighters may not have the opportunity to put themselves on the UFC’s radar.
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