The UFC is set to host UFC 268 in New York City later this year at Madison Square Garden, despite some concerns that the state’s vaccine mandate would complicate matters for their fighters.
While that ship has sailed, it appears that they may have a new problem on their hands when it comes to hosting international fights in the United States.
The promotion is set to hold an international major event with UFC 267 in just days in Abu Dhabi, for the UFC’s return to Fight Island after resuming pay-per-view events in the U.S. Events will then return to the U.S. following UFC 267, including the highly-anticipated UFC 268 NYC event including the welterweight title rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.
Beginning Nov. 8, the U.S. government will implement a policy allowing international travelers who are fully vaccinated with one of the seven COVID-19 shots, to enter the country. Those who are not fully vaccinated won’t be able to travel to the states.
The UFC and president Dana White have been adamant on not requiring a companywide vaccine mandate
“Foreign national air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of their vaccination status to fly to the United States,” the memo from CBO Hunter Campbell reads as published by MMA Junkie. “Fully vaccinated travelers will also be required to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel prior to boarding their flight.”
“To be clear, this is NOT a UFC policy,” the UFC memo continues. “UFC is not requiring you to get vaccinated. We are simply communicating the new guidelines recently announced by the U.S. government. You should consider your options, such as traveling to the United States before this new U.S. government policy takes effect, or if you choose, make arrangements to take the appropriate vaccination.”
The new policies could cause some issues with November international headliners such as Yair Rodriguez and Ketlen Viera, although their vaccine statuses have not been made public. UFC president Dana White has yet to comment publicly on the new U.S. travel policies.
Do you think the new COVID-19 travel restrictions could be problematic for the UFC?