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CORONA KO: UFC 249 A No Go At Barclays Center

Michael Woods

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It’s a new form of March Madness, basically all events scheduled for March have been scratched, within the fightsports world. April, too, is getting a steam-clean.

The April 18 event at Barclays Center, a much anticipated card pit together by UFC, has officially been scratched. Scratched from Brooklyn, that is.

As of Wednesday morning, UFC bossman Dana White is still said to be searching for an alternate site, out of the United States. Every day that passes, one confirmed case pops up in a nation or territory that had not seen one person infcted, so as White searches, his target regions can change by the second. One would assume that any nation would need to have assurance that every single person entering their sphere had been tested, and tested negative, for presence of COVID-19.

On Wednesday morning, we got word:

The NYS Athletic Commission said that, “Out of an abundance of caution and in line with recent guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and New York State, the New York State Athletic Commission informed the UFC that UFC 249 cannot be held in NY.”

MMA fans were chomping at their bit to see the UFC Lightweight Championship bout between the current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former interim champ Tony Ferguson.

March, dunzo, April now pretty much cancelled. America is right now moving toward probably peak measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, so that means minimizing strangers in close proximity to another. That means in a ring, in an Octagon, in church, etc.

So, if White sees that, for example, Myanmar hasn’t seen one case, and wants to bring the Octagon there, maybe that happens. But wait…Myanmar borders China, and their testing ability isn’t A grade..so do we assume that the contention that Myanmar is COVID-19 free is accurate? Rhetorical question…

Check back, and see what’s what in an hour, a day, a week, a month. This is uncharted territory, unless you are the oldest person in the world, with a super human memory, and recall dealing with the 1918 Spanish Flu wipeout.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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