Morning Report: Daniel Cormier on the coronavirus impacting UFC events: ‘When the UFC comes back, they’re going to put on massive fight cards every single week’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

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 lock down 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 lock down 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.


MUST-READ STORIES

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Control. Leslie Smith: Questionable title shots another way the UFC is ‘screwing the fighters over’.

Gone. Mairbek Taisumov, Tonya Evinger among 13 fighters no longer on UFC roster.


VIDEO STEW

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.


LISTEN UP

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.

Thoughts and prayers.

Khabib.

Doesn’t really require balls, just a complete lack of social obligation.

Friends.

Enemies?

The NMF.

Delusions of grandeur.

Ready to fight.

Nick Newell crushing this pushup challenge.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Aljamain Sterling (18-3) vs. Cory Sandhagen (12-1); UFC San Diego, May 16.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


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