- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 20, 2021

UFC President Dana White says his company’s safe and successful mixed martial arts contests during the COVID-19 pandemic are a blueprint for getting things “back to normal.”

The entrepreneur told Fox News this week that Americans are living in “a very weird time” where opportunities abound — but people aren’t taking them.

“There’s never been more opportunity out there than there is right now,” he told Brian Kilmeade on Monday. “I keep hearing about restaurants that can’t open all the way because they can’t get people to come into work. You know, you can’t get an Uber because nobody wants to go back and drive Uber. It’s a very weird time in this country right now.”

Mr. White‘s comments come on the heels of a massive 1.8 million pay-per-view buys for its recent UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

He insisted since the start of the pandemic that there were ways to host safe events for fighters and fans, although his critics predicted doom and gloom before the success of UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Why should anyone listen to the media? Who are these people? What makes them experts? What have they ever accomplished?” he asked in December while reflecting on COVID-19 coverage of his decisions. “They criticized me for even trying to find a way forward because it’s easy to criticize from the sidelines when you risk nothing and do nothing. But we need to fight this thing. Instead of panicking, let’s find solutions. … The media said I was risking people’s health to line my own pockets. I didn’t do this so I could make more money. I have plenty of money. I did this so my fighters could make money and my employees could continue to make a living and feed their families.”

Mr. White told Fox that it is bizarre to watch business competitors flounder and Americans refuse to work.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “It’s blowing my mind. … People need to get back to work and things need to get back to normal as soon as possible.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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