The UFC made the move to close the doors on the 16,000-seat Ginasio Nilson Nelson arena for this weekend’s UFC on ESPN+ 28 in Brasilia, Brazil. The promotion was left with little choice after Brazilian officials instituted a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people.
UFC Brasilia will still take place and be broadcast on the ESPN+ streaming app.
In the wake of individual states in the United States acting to institute similar rules, UFC officials on Thursday released a statement announcing the move of UFC: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik from Columbus, Ohio, and UFC: Overeem vs. Harris from Portland, Oregon, to Las Vegas.
The UFC has its own production facility including a small arena at its APEX facility, which is located adjacent to UFC headquarters in Las Vegas.
As more and more sanctions are put in place on large events across the globe, it is likely that this won’t be the final announcement of UFC events being moved to its APEX facility.
UFC president Dana White on Thursday told ESPN that the promotion thus far intends to move forward as planned with a live audience at its UFC Fight Night event in London next week, unless of course local officials in England institute their own bans.
There has been no announcement yet in regard to UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson, which is slated for April 18 in Brooklyn, New York.
UFC Statement on upcoming UFC events in Columbus, Ohio and Portland, Oregon:
UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, at Nationwide Arena, in Columbus, Ohio, will be relocated following the State of Ohio’s ban on large gatherings of 100 or more. In addition, UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 11 at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, will be relocated following the State of Oregon’s ban on large public gatherings of 250 or more. These events will now take place in UFC APEX in Las Vegas on the same dates, Saturday, March 28, and Saturday, April 11, respectively. Both events will proceed with only essential personnel in attendance and without spectators. UFC is working directly with Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett on implementing a process to screen the competing athletes for the coronavirus to ensure their health and safety. These events are scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN’s platforms here in the U.S., and by UFC’s media partners around the world.
We know many of our fans in Ohio and Oregon are disappointed, as are we. Ticket holders may seek a full refund at the point of purchase. We look forward to returning to Columbus and Portland at the earliest opportunity.
The World Health Organization has the following advice for the public to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) :
Wash your hands frequently
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
- Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
The Center for Disease Control also warns that older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
For more information on preventing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19):
Dana White addresses UFC Coronavirus (COVID-19) response
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