UFC has postponed three upcoming events due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to MMA Junkie.
The league's decision was first announced by a company employee on Twitter who said UFC president Dana White sent out an email to the staff on Monday.
MMA Junkie later obtained a copy of White's email saying UFC on ESPN+ 29, UFC on ESPN 8, and UFC on ESPN+ 30 will be postponed.
"We did everything we could to relocate our next three events–London, Columbus, and Portland," said White. "But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule. We can’t even hold an event in Vegas, our home town, because there’s a ban on all combat sports events in Nevada until at least March 25.
As you heard me say, I've been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won't regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families."
White also said UFC's offices will be closed through March 31 and asked employees to work from home. He said employees could reach out to the company if they or any of their family members are exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus and have trouble getting to a doctor.
UFC 29 on ESPN+ was set to take place Saturday, while UFC on ESPN 8 was scheduled for March 28 and UFC on ESPN+ 30 was slated for April 11. The league received heavy criticism last week when it chose not to cancel UFC Fight Night 170 in Brazil despite almost all other sports leagues canceling or postponing their seasons due to the pandemic. UFC chose to hold the event without fans instead.
There are more than 167,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus globally across at least 136 countries.