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Dana White: ‘No danger’ to UFC 248 co-main event after champ Zhang Weili left China

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Strawweight champion Zhang Weili is still scheduled to defend her title at UFC 248 after leaving her home country of China amidst an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

To date, 637 people have died of the disease in China with more than 31,000 currently infected. The United States recently enacted travel restrictions for anybody coming from China or those who have recently been to the country within the past 14 days as a precaution to prevent further spread of the disease.

With four weeks to go until the card takes place, UFC president Dana White said Zhang shouldn’t experience any major travel issues after she moved her training camp from China to Thailand and then relocated to Abu Dhabi on Friday.

“There’s literally no danger whatsoever,” White said when asked about the status of the UFC 248 co-main event. “She’s training down in Thailand and obviously there’s some things going on. We want to make sure she’s safe.

“The second most infected place right now is Thailand. We’re moving her to Abu Dhabi to make sure everybody’s safe.”

Zhang is scheduled to defend her title for the first time against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk on March 7 in Las Vegas.

“Goodbye Thailand and hello Abu Dhabi,” Zhang wrote on her Instagram account. “Everyone is trying the best to make my title defense fight happen. I’m on the flight to Abu Dhabi now, though just acclimated the climate and training in Thailand. We’re going to another country again. What a rush!”

As previously reported by MMA Fighting, Zhang was not the only fighter from China to deal with similar issues with upcoming bouts. Li Jingliang and Xiaonan Yan both have fights scheduled and they recently traveled to Thailand as well to continue training their respective training camps.

While Li is matched up with Neil Magny at UFC 248, Yan is booked to compete on Feb. 23 at the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in Auckland, New Zealand.