ONE Championship will move forward with their next card scheduled for Singapore on Feb. 28, but the show will take place behind closed doors with no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus outbreak.
ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong confirmed the news on Monday in a lengthy post on his Facebook page.
“In light of the coronavirus situation in Singapore, I have made the decision to convert ONE: King of the Jungle on February 28 into a closed event for broadcast only,” Sityodtong wrote. “The Singapore Indoor Stadium will not be open to the general public, but the event will proceed behind closed doors as scheduled live on all TV and digital platforms across 150+ countries around the world.
“If you purchased tickets to attend the event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, you will receive a full refund. Catch the event live on TV from the comfort of your home on February 28!”
The coronavirus outbreak, primarily centered in China, has spread out to several surrounding countries including Singapore where there have been 77 reported cases. In mainland China, more than 77,000 people have been infected with the disease with 1,770 deaths caused by the outbreak.
In Singapore, the government has placed travel restrictions on anybody coming into the country from China to stay at home for at least 14 days after returning.
Sityodtong added that ONE Championship could have made the call to cancel the entire event, which is headlined by an atomweight kickboxing title fight between Stamp Fairtex and Janet Todd, but instead they will move forward by holding the event behind closed doors.
“My team and I had the option to cancel the event altogether, but we chose not to cancel it,” Sityodtong explained. “More than ever, the world needs hope and strength right now. Our heroes are prepared to inspire you with the greatest performances of their lives on February 28. We are here to give all of our fans around the world another magical night to celebrate the best of humanity. At ONE Championship, our mission since Day 1 has been to unleash real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration.
“Let us unite as a country and let us show strength as a continent to conquer this coronavirus. Let us celebrate what makes us special, what makes us strong, what makes us human. A ship is not made to sit in the calm waters of a harbor. It is made to conquer the rough seas in search of new horizons. With love, compassion, and resilience, we will get through these tough times together.”
Based out of Singapore, ONE Championship has already moved one event that was scheduled to take place on April 11 in Chongqing, China due to the coronavirus outbreak. That event is now scheduled to take place in Jakarta, Indonesia with former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson headlining in a flyweight title fight against Adriano Moraes.
The UFC has also been forced to make changes due to the coronavirus outbreak with reigning strawweight champion Zhang Weili being forced to move her training camp from China to Abu Dhabi ahead of her co-main event showdown with Joanna Jedrzejczyk on March 7 at UFC 248.