UFC Fight Night 171 will no longer be taking place in London, England next weekend due to restrictions on large-scale gatherings and travel being enforced in the region as a result of the continuing Caronavirus pandemic.
However, Dana White is sticking to his guns that the show must go on and is now looking for a different location to host the event.
“Due to rapidly changing circumstances in the U.K, including recently implemented travel restrictions, UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs Edwards, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21, at the O2 Arena in London, will be relocated,” a statement from the UFC reads. “The organization is looking at the available options, including in the United States. Additional details will be announced in coming days. O2 ticket holders may seek a full refund at the point of purchase. UFC looks forward to returning to London at the earliest opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the UFC’s plans to move two other upcoming UFC events to their own Apex facility in Las Vegas are now under threat too after Las Vegas put a ban on combat sports in place until March 25th – just three days before UFC On ESPN 8 was supposed to take place there, but White is undeterred.
“As of now, the fights can’t happen at the APEX here in Las Vegas,” White told ESPN. “We’re working to find new locations but the fights will go on. They will continue. We’re not stopping, we will keep finding a way to put on the fights.
That’s not all though as the blockbuster UFC 249 event featuring a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is also having to make alternative arrangements due to restrictions in New York, but White is claiming it too will still go ahead.
“We had possibly a couple of different venues for that fight, including Nevada, so now the whole Nevada thing went down, so we’re looking for another venue. By 10 o’clock tomorrow morning I should have two venue options for that fight. That fight will happen, it will go on. The fans are all freakin’ out about that—do not worry, Khabib vs. Tony will happen.”
That being said, it seems that putting on shows in this fashion is only going to become more and more challenging as the days go on, but it’s perhaps not surprising that White is going to fight on until the bitter end.
“Unless there’s a total shutdown of the country where people can’t leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen. We’re going to move on, these fights will happen, these guys will compete, we will find venues, we will figure this thing out.
“The only thing that’s going to stop us is a complete government shutdown where everybody is confined to their homes.”