Sports

UFC slammed for resuming fights this weekend

Boxing promoter Bob Arum has criticised Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White for resuming events this weekend while other major sports have remained suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three UFC cards have been scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida, the first on Sunday morning with others on May 14 and May 17 (all Singapore time). They will be staged in an arena with television broadcast personnel but without spectators.

Stating that he has "little respect" for what White is doing, Arum did not mince words as he whacked the UFC for risking the health and safety of athletes and staff.

"Good luck to them," Arum, who is also chairman of promoter Top Rank, told boxingscene.com. "I just hope that they're not endangering the safety of anyone. But this kind of cowboy behaviour doesn't do anybody any good."

White told Yahoo Sports that there will be about 150 staff members in the building on fight night, but won't reveal all the precautions they are taking against the coronavirus.

He insisted that distancing will be a priority and that everyone who is involved is doing so willingly.

Last month, White was forced to delay UFC 249 by top Disney and ESPN executives.

Lyman Good, who was scheduled to fight in the event later became the first UFC athlete to announce he tested positive for Covid-19.

Arum added: "You know, if we get something like that on one of Dana's shows, and God forbid there's a serious incident of spreading the disease, it doesn't do well for anybody who's involved with sports."

MMA (MIXED MARTIAL ARTS)