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Morning Report: Dana White addresses vaccination requirement for international fighters, Conor McGregor’s latest issues

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Dana White
Dana White

“Fight Island” could once again become a key player for the UFC.

This week, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell sent a memo to all the UFC fighters, coaches, and managers notifying them of a change United States government travel policy, requiring all foreign travelers who wish to enter the U.S. to provide proof of vaccination. This mandate was issued by the White House and goes into effect on Nov. 8. Given the sheer number of international fighters on many of the upcoming UFC cards, this could play havoc with the UFC’s current schedule, depending on the willingness of international fighters to get vaccinated and the availability of the vaccine in their home countries, and UFC President Dana White has now suggested that a return to trip to Abu Dhabi may be in the cards, to mitigate this impending problem.

“I’ve been telling you guys through this whole thing,” White told reporters at the Contender Series on Tuesday. “You’re like, ‘Hey, what about this, what about that?’ I said I have no idea how all this nuttiness is going to play out, but here we go. We’re gonna - I don’t know. I think ‘Fight Island’ is going to be hopping again.

“Yeah, we’re looking to do more events (there). I’m going to Abu Dhabi next Wednesday, so I have a lot of meetings out there. I’ve been dying to walk you guys through what’s been going on in Abu Dhabi anyways, so this trip I’ll get everything done, buttoned up and finished and I can come back and walk you guys through it.”

The new travel restrictions going into place on Nov. 8 means that fighters traveling to the U.S. for any card after UFC 268 will be subject to the vaccination requirement. In their memo to the fighters, the UFC suggested that fighters who may have an issue with the requirement make travel arrangements ahead of the deadline.

But the new vaccination requirement was not the only hot-button issue White was asked to address. Over the weekend, the UFC’s golden goose, Conor McGregor, once again found himself in hot water as the former two-division champion was accused of breaking Italian DJ Francesco Facchinetti’s nose in an unprovoked attack. McGregor and his team have yet to issue a statement on the incident, and on Tuesday, White followed suit.

“We talked about it a little bit today in matchmaking - I don’t know enough about it,” White said. “I honestly don’t even know enough about it to comment on it. Obviously I’ve seen what you guys - you guys have seen more than me, actually, to be honest with you. I haven’t talked to Conor, so I don’t know what the truth is. I don’t know exactly what happened. So to comment on it, I really can’t.”

This latest incident comes on the heels of a regrettable summer for “Notorious” that saw him receive backlash for a host of things, including an altercation with rapper Machine Gun Kelly at last month’s MTV Awards that White hand-waved away by saying, “Crazy sh*t happens in the fight business.”

McGregor is currently still sidelined with injury, recovering from the broken leg that brought about an end to his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.


TOP STORIES

Results. Caio Barralho makes second chance count, three other contracts awarded at the Contender Series.

Requirement. UFC alerts international fighters about new vaccination requirements to travel into the U.S. starting Nov. 8.

Released. UFC bantamweight Irwin Rivera released from custody following attempted murder charges.

Rankings. Joanna Jedrzejczyk fires back at critics complaining about her spot in UFC rankings: ‘Take my place, I don’t care’.

Reasons. Fedor Emelianenko explains why he wasn’t interested in facing ex-UFC champ Junior dos Santos.

Retirement. Stephan Bonnar update: After discovering severe staph infection, TUF 1 vet ‘just done,’ targets day job.


VIDEO STEW

Contender Series announcements.

Vitaly Minakov’s best KOs.

MixedMollyWhoppery on Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev.

Conor and Jon Jones in jail.


LISTEN UP

Jack Slack. Discussing the disappointment that was UFC Vegas 40.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Marvin Vettori.

Reasonable response.

The other side.

Covid.

Manifesting the future.

Family.

Not sure even GSP could pull off a superman punch on ice skates.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mason Jones (10-1) vs. David Onama (8-0); UFC Vegas 41, Oct. 23.

Jennifer Maia (19-7-1) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (16-4); UFC Fight Night, Jan. 15.

Joaquin Buckley (13-4) vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan (11-4); UFC Fight Night, Jan. 15.

Ashley Yoder (8-8) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (6-4); UFC Fight Night, Jan. 15.


FINAL THOUGHTS

If you haven’t done so already, do your part and get vaccinated. It’s just a shot, you’ve had many of them before, and it will help the larger community out. Thanks!

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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