Following the tragic concert shooting on Sunday evening in Las Vegas, UFC officials have responded to questions about how it will affect Saturday’s UFC 216: Ferguson vs. Lee.
With Saturday’s event so close in proximity in both time and location to Sunday’s tragic mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, questions quickly arose about whether or not Saturday’s UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena would be affected.
UFC officials told MMAWeekly.com on Monday that, while they are currently focused on supporting the Las Vegas community, current plans are to move forward with UFC 216 as scheduled.
Sunday’s shooting occurred as the three-day music festival was coming to a close late in the evening. A shooter reportedly opened fire from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino across the street from the festival. At the time of the publication of this article, reports indicated that there were at least 58 people killed and 515 injured, marking it as the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
The UFC has long made its home base in Las Vegas and has deep roots in the community, centering its business in the city and holding numerous events there every year.
Aside from the many UFC employees that reside in Las Vegas, several fighters call the city home and frequently train there. A number of fighters and their training partners and coaches often take side jobs working security for other events in Las Vegas, such as the Route 91 Harvest Festival. So this tragedy strikes particularly close to home for many of those involved with the UFC and the mixed martial arts community in general.
The UFC issued a statement of support earlier in the day, but has also been actively providing information via its massive social media reach, encouraging people to donate blood, providing phone numbers for those trying to locate loved ones or wanting to provide officials with information relative to the incident, and other supportive efforts.
Saturday’s event is slated to feature an interim UFC lightweight championship bout between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee. Demetrious Johnson will put his flyweight championship on the line for a record eleventh time when he meets Ray Borg in the co-main event.