UFC makes changes to coronavirus protocol, including stricter self-isolation policy

Yahoo Sports

The UFC is making some changes to its coronavirus protocol. In anticipation of Saturday’s event in Las Vegas, UFC will implement stricter self-isolation rules to ensure fighters remain safe, according to MMA Junkie.

While fighters were expected to self isolate in preparation for UFC’s events in Jacksonville, the terminology has been tweaked for Las Vegas. Once fighters arrive at the host hotel, they’ll receive antibody tests. While they wait for their results, fighters will be required to self isolate.

The new policy goes into more detail on how UFC expects fighters to self isolate for UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, according to MMA Junkie.

“This means you should not leave the Athlete Hotel or have physical contact with anyone other than the members of your camp until you have received your test result.”

Fighters and their cornermen will have to follow a similar policy between Friday weigh-ins and Saturday’s event. During this period, no member of the fighter’s team will be allowed to leave the hotel unless he or she receives approval.

“During this time, no athletes or cornermen will be permitted to leave the Athlete Hotel without express prior approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”

Based on that last statement, it’s possible the UFC altered the wording surrounding its self-isolation policy at the behest of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Bringing the sport to a new state will provide the UFC with new challenges. It’s possible the NSAC wanted the UFC to be more specific about self-isolation expectations in preparation for Saturday’s event.

The UFC is among the first sports to continue amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company held two events in Jacksonville in May, and will finish out the month with UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on May 30. Before UFC 249, Ronaldo Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive for the coronavirus. The event still went off as planned.

Following those events, UFC received criticism after Joe Rogan ignored social-distancing policy and shook hands with fighters. HBO’s John Oliver also ripped the company for its “Fight Island” idea. UFC president Dana White took issue with Oliver’s segment.

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