Amidst a global pandemic, the UFC has alerted all international fighters that in order to gain entry into the U.S., full vaccination against COVID-19 is required.
The UFC and notably, Dana White have insisted that the UFC and its fighters will not be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, starting Nov. 8 the promotion will face new obstacles in arranging fights/flights with foreign combatants. According to the memo, all international fighters will need to be fully vaccinated to gain entry into the U.S.
A report from MMA Junkie on Tuesday showed that the statute will require foreign fighters to get one of the WHO-approved vaccines. Although, the UFC has maintained that it will not force independent contractors to get the vaccine. With an obvious impact on foreign fighters, the promotion has relayed in the memo to make appropriate preparations for the new requirements.
The Las Vegas-based promotion sent out a memo on Tuesday, which stated that international fighters will need to be fully vaccinated or will be unable to compete in the U.S. Specifically, the release indicates that the U.S. government has changed its rules and will now require all international travelers to be vaccinated against the novel virus.
The Chief Business Officer of the UFC, Hunter Campbell reiterated UFC president Dana White’s take on the company requiring the vaccine. In addition, the CBO provided details and a possible workaround.
“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,” Campbell wrote.
“… This policy takes effect on November 8, leaving very little time to make arrangements if you are fighting on a UFC card in November. If you choose to travel to the U.S. before the new policy takes effect, you will need a waiver if you are traveling from one of the restricted countries. Please contact the UFC Immigration team at (redacted contact information) so we can ensure you have a valid travel waiver in place. … It is unclear at this time what parameters will be applied to U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) who are not vaccinated.” Campbell wrote.
Some of the specifics of the policy are still being ironed out but it appears the change will have major implications for international flights. Following the policy change, Dana White seemed adamant about the return to Fight Island.
What do you make of the new vaccine statutes for international fighters?