Michael Chandler’s fight with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268 in New York City on November 6th has only just been announced and yet Chandler has already sent out a warning that the bout may be in jeopardy due to a new mandate in the state requiring people to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated in order to enter entertainment venues like Madison Square Garden.
“I just saw that New York is dropping some heavy mandates on the city of New York City,” Chandler said during an Instagram Live chat. “Basically, they’re requiring you to be vaccinated (and) show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, indoor fitness and indoor performances and entertainment. Obviously a UFC card, a UFC fight being thrown at Madison Square Garden is considered indoor entertainment and indoor performance.
“I will not be vaccinated at that point. I don’t know how many fighters, if I was to fight on that Nov. 6 card—or whoever is fighting on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden—I don’t know how many fighters will be vaccinated. I don’t really have a tally on who is or isn’t.”
Chandler’s concerns came around the same time that Dana White told TSN that the UFC won’t be looking to implement any police within the company requiring fighters to have the vaccine.
“I would never tell another human being what to do with their body,” White said. “If you want to get vaccinated, that’s up to you. That’s your choice.
”You’re never going to hear me say I’m going to force people to get vaccinated. Never gonna happen.”
Of course, if the UFC does go ahead with the show at Madison Square Garden in November then his opinion won’t override the state requirements, which would also mean he’d have to be vaccinated too, not to mention any fans who want to attend, and as such Chandler is among those who are now raising concerns about the viability of the show taking place there.
“More than anything, the chances of the UFC being able to sell out Madison Square Garden with only people that are vaccinated really cuts down their ability to sell out Madison Square Garden,” Chandler said.
“So I don’t really know. I think it calls into question if Madison Square Garden will actually happen, to be honest with you guys. The UFC is brilliant and geniuses at putting things together and putting their fights together. But as I said, I’m not anti-vaccine. I think vaccines are effective. I think it’s everybody’s choice whether they want to take the vaccine. I won’t be vaccinated by Nov. 6, so I won’t be able to perform or entertain at Madison Square Garden. So we shall see.”