Like almost everything nowadays, COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus is making changes to MMA. On Monday, Combate Americas joined the growing list of promotions changing their schedule due to the virus.
The North American promotion recently announced the rescheduling of events, along with the plan to broadcast an event from a studio. Their events on March 13th, 20th and 27th were all cancelled, with fans being able to get a refund, per a statement.
Also in the statement, it was included that a “new, closed set event format” will be announced soon, taking place on April 3rd.
Other Ways Coronavirus Has Changed MMA
Events In Asia Affected
One of the most prominent MMA promotions in Asia, ONE Championship has had to alter their schedule as well. They recently postponed their “Heart of Heroes” event to June, which was originally meant to take place on March 20th in Vietnam.
In late February, ONE held “King of the Jungle” in Singapore, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The event was originally meant to have a crowd in attendance, but the decision was made to hold it without an audience.
One of the first events that saw a change due to the coronavirus was M-1 Challenge 106, which was meant to be held in January in South Korea. While the event was in-part cancelled due to issues with the Suwon Convention Center, it was also cited that the “Korean Government is restricting public gathering.”
In Japan, Pancrase 313 was moved from March 8th to April 12th, making a one-day double header with Pancrase 314.
Italian Fighter Removed From Cage Warriors Card
Three Italian fighters were removed from an upcoming Cage Warriors show on Tuesday. Danilo Belluardo, Davide Baneschi and Davide Martinez all got taken off the Cage Warriors 113 card, which is set to take place on March 20th. Two of them cited injury, while the other can not arrive due to travel bans.
Italy currently has the most COVID-19 cases outside of China, currently sitting at over 10,000 as of Tuesday evening.
UFC Not Threatened
The United States his 1,000 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, reporting over 200 in one day. This does not worry the countries largest MMA promotion, as they plan to run things as planned.
“We’ll see how this plays out … As far as I’m concerned we’ll continue to run our business,” said UFC President Dana White in an interview with TSN.
UFC is set to host UFC on ESPN 8: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruick on March 28th at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. On Tuesday, Governor of Ohio Mike DeWine “recommended” that no audiences are allowed into sporting events.