As the COVID-19 outbreak has spread rapidly here in the United States and abroad, sports leagues have steadily suspended operations almost totally for what seems likely now to be at least eight weeks and maybe longer. The NBA was the first to do so stateside, followed quickly by the NHL, MLB, NCAA, MLS, and, eventually, boxing, the PGA Tour, and NASCAR.
The last holdout putting on events was UFC, as Dana White insisted he had clearance to continue having fights after conversations with the president. However, after the president changed his tune dramatically on the coronavirus situation on Monday, calling for people to cease gathering in groups of more than 10 and finally noting that the virus can be spread from those that are asymptomatic, UFC finally has made the call to postpone their next three weekends of fights indefinitely, per Michael Carroll (who was retweeted by the likes of Ariel Helwani).
The UFC also offers support to any employee and/or family member who may require medical support in the coming weeks/months. Positive email tbh.
— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) March 16, 2020
As Carroll notes, this comes from an internal email sent to UFC employees, offering to help them with medical costs should they be affected. It also does not yet postpone the Tony Ferguson-Khabib Nurmagomedov fight for April 18, although putting that fight on seems, at best, highly unlikely.
It’s the right move to make, although a week behind every other major sports entity, but for now we have seen the suspension of every major sport in the United States in an effort to assist in the necessary social distancing required to try and flatten the curve, slow the spread of the virus, and limit the strain placed on our hospitals and healthcare infrastructure.