UFC on ESPN 10: Dana White Not Interested in Holding Shows in Half-Empty Arenas


Las Vegas, NV — As the United States begins to open up following the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, talk has almost immediately turned to when fans might be back in the stands. And it’s no small surprise that Dana White was asked about just that Saturday, after UFC on ESPN 10 went down at an empty UFC Apex.

“I think it’s going to depend on, this whole thing is state by state. Or country by country,” he said, before revealing that the UFC was already looking at where they might be able to welcome fans back. “I know there’s a couple states right now looking to open up to fans. And we’re talking to them,” he said.

But when it comes to social distancing at events, the outspoken UFC President is not a fan. “I won’t do that. I won’t do a 50% arena,” he said, when asked about spacing fans out in the stands. “I’ll just stay here [at the Apex, without fans]. It makes more sense just to stay here.”

Recently, New Zealand hosted its first event with fans back in attendance. 20,000 fans packed a stadium for a rugby match, and were not required to social distance or wear masks. The country has reported that it no longer has any active cases of SARS-CoV-2.

Which immediately brings middleweight champ Israel Adesanya to mind.

“It’s good. Let them do that for a while and see how it goes, see what happens,” White said when informed of the news. “Depending on which network you listen to, who the hell knows what’s going on? At least if some of these guys in these other countries — who were hit before we were so they’re coming out of it before we are — they can see how this thing plays out, and then we’ll go from there.”

On the topic of Saturday, meanwhile, White addressed the critics. And there were many, given the lack of star power UFC on ESPN 10 had behind it. Jessica Eye vs. Cynthia Calvillo served as the main event. Marvin Vettori vs. Karl Roberson, a grudge match, was the co-feature.

Yet especially early in the night, the fights entertained, with a run of quick finishes.

“How many bad cards have we had in twenty years? I can count on one hand,” White exclaimed. “Listen, not every fight is for everybody. Don’t watch this one, watch the next one. Don’t watch the next three, watch the one after them. Believe me, we’ve got nothing but fights going on all this summer. So if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

Watch the full UFC on ESPN 10 post-fight press conference with Dana White above!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here