Josh Thomson has slammed Dana White for endangering lives by proposing future UFC fights go down on a private island.
A former UFC fighter and current Bellator analyst, Josh Thomson isn’t afraid to give his take on MMA controversies. That includes the hot topic of White’s proposed fight island.
Due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, White allegedly intends on hosting future fights from a private island where he can fly international fighters to. However, Thomson believes the idea could result in a disaster.
“Why are they doing this? Dana likes to be the daredevil,” he said to Metro. “You always think of the worst-case scenario when you’re doing an event. Worst case scenario here is you fight on an island and half the people get COVID-19.”
Dana White has not confirmed which island he has in mind, and some commenters believe he isn’t being truthful about the plan. Nevertheless, Thomson notes that there is a clear health risk.
“You bring it to the island and people start dying on the island,” Thomson said. “Another worst case is there’s no real hospital on the island and someone gets seriously hurt and they can’t make it to a hospital in time and a fighter dies.
“Those are the two worst-case scenarios you could think of. Dana has to be ready for those consequences. That would end Dana as the president of the UFC, it would end the promotion and the sport itself would take a huge step backwards. It would be detrimental to the sport.
“The average person would never support MMA of any kind again because of this recklessness [leading to a worst-case scenario].”
Josh Thomson formally retired from fighting in January 2020. He often uses his podcast, Weighing In, with MMA referee Big John McCarthy to discuss current issues and popular topics in the sport. Thomson often advocates for the rights of fighters and believe they shouldn’t feel pressurized to fight.
“I’m okay if Dana White wants to do this show. It honestly doesn’t bother me, and I’m okay with the fighters who elect to go and do that,’ he said.
“Where you’re going to run into a problem is —and it has nothing to do with what the UFC or what the fighters chose to do—but I’ve done business with Dana White and the UFC.
“There’s been rumblings for years and athletes have left, fighters say behind closed doors that they were forced to take fights that they didn’t want to. This is one of those scenarios,” Thomson added. “When it comes down to anything, I’m on the side of the fighter, but just like the NFL and concussions, sometimes the athlete needs to be saved from themselves. That’s the bottom line. This may be one of those situations. All the things I’ve talked about, it’s worst-case scenario. They won’t happen, but you’ve got to be prepared for that.”
Do you think Josh Thomson is right and Dana White’s decision to create a UFC fight island is wreckless? Let us know in the comments below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/9/2020.