It’s strange and uncertain times in the world today, perhaps nowhere more so than in the sports world. Practically every major sporting league on the planet has closed up shop amid the coronavirus pandemic, and as the situation worsens, the timeline for things to return to normal is trending towards months of quarantine, rather than weeks. But in every storm cloud, there is a silver lining and former two-division world champion Daniel Cormier has found one for UFC fighters and fans.
The UFC is currently on hiatus, having postponed three scheduled events in an effort to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s a month of events that housebound fans are not able to enjoy and 74 fighters who are not getting paid. And while that is certainly suboptimal, Cormier says the one bit of upside from this lockdown is the quality of events when things get back to normal is going to be incredible.
“There’s nothing right now. We’re essentially in a holding pattern,” Cormier told Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast. “The UFC is on pause. Not even the UFC, the whole world is on pause right now. All sports, everything that entertains. So it’s just a wait and see.
“But you know what you can look forward to as an athlete is knowing that when the UFC returns, you’re going to be a part of some massive fight cards. Because all these fights have to happen, and as long as the UFC is on pause, the UFC is not making any money. So when the UFC comes back, they have to make all that money that’s supposed to be made over the course of the year, so they’re going to put on massive fight cards every single week until the end of the year and I cannot wait to be a part of it.
“Superfight after superfight after superfight, super fight card after super fight card, super card, super card. It’s gonna be like the UFC back in the day when there was one every couple of months and you got massive cards every time.”
Cormier may have a point. Dana White has been clear that he intends to reschedule all the fights that were postponed, and the few times other UFC cards have been cancelled, most. of the planned bouts were moved to subsequent events, creating extra-large fight cards in some instances. If the UFC does reschedule all of the planned fights, some upcoming fight cards will, at minimum get main and co-main event worthy bouts added to them, which will certainly make for some stacked cards.
And of course, if the UFC lockdown goes on for longer than the planned three events, that’s just more big fights to get condensed into the back half of the year. But according to Cormier, who is training partners and a coach for lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC is still planning on making UFC 249 happen on April 18th.
“I hear that the fight is still happening,” Cormier said. “I haven’t heard that it’s not. So we operate under the assumption that it’s still going to happen on April 18th. I don’t know how, I don’t know where, but until Dana comes out and says it’s off, I’m gonna believe that I get to watch Khabib fight Tony on April 18th from wherever in the world that they’re gonna allow a fight to happen.”
Whether UFC 249 is going to be an anomaly kept alive by Dana White’s determination to finally see Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fight, or whether UFC 249 will just mark the return of the UFC to business as usual remains unclear. But even if it is just an anomaly, at least fans will have something to look forward to when the global pandemic finally settles down.
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The A-Side Live Chat.
UFC 249 Timeline.
Possible ways to. save UFC 249.
One of the greatest fights ever.
The top finishes of Matt Brown.
The Co-Main Event. Rewatching UFC 1.
UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Dustin Poirier and Francis Ngannou.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
You know you’ve made it when Stemm is retweeting you.
That is fucking AMAZING!!!!! RT @MMAFighting: We wants to bring the #MMA world together during the #COVID19 pandemic, so we got fighters to sing our version of "Imagine"… pic.twitter.com/CSqm0TiwBV— STEMM (@5TEMM) March 23, 2020
Thoughts and prayers.
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To my family, friends, fans & everyone impacted by this horrible earthquake in Zagreb.. I’m so devastated by this news in this already scary & difficult time... Just know that my heart is there with all of you. We WILL come back from this stronger than before. I love you Croatia, you are ALL warriors! Stay Strong #SM
Doesn’t really require balls, just a complete lack of social obligation.
This time right now will seperate the men from the boys, @danawhite has got balls the size of grapefruits for getting this sorted. Just saying if anyone falls out you can send the private jet down to New Zealand and scoop me up no questions asked. #realrecognisereal #ufc249 pic.twitter.com/ay6KeJdS8f— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) March 24, 2020
My guy @MikeMav22 stay safe! All this numbers 5 and above don’t want anything with me and you I agree that might be the next for us! I’m in for a main event after all this craziness! Let’s do it BURNS X CHIESA @danawhite @seanshelby @ufc @AliAbdelaziz00 @TheSchmo312 https://t.co/TQkJ89Kg0V— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) March 23, 2020
You stay safe as well brother, BURNS X CHIESA is the main event the people need when this coronavirus ends. It would be an honor. Then we can finally train together after! Ossss https://t.co/Nkf9V7N9AS— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) March 23, 2020
gracias hermano por el entrenamiento @HenryCejudo pic.twitter.com/O2Z7lA19Lg— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) March 22, 2020
You forgot my two belts #getitright https://t.co/CIfi28lnWl— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) March 23, 2020
In his first NMF title defense, @WonderboyMMA watched himself get KO'd in front of the world and then joked about it (via @ufc) pic.twitter.com/NXS008AWrd— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 23, 2020
Delusions of grandeur.
I could easily be champ if I could fight in any weight class lower than welterweight but I got too much power to get down there with you little guys— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) March 23, 2020
Ready to fight.
Nick Newell crushing this pushup challenge.
Aljamain Sterling (18-3) vs. Cory Sandhagen (12-1); UFC San Diego, May 16.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Will the UFC hold events as scheduled following UFC 249?
This poll is closed
Yes, back to business.
No, UFC 249 is an anomaly.
They won’t even hold UFC 249.
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