In an Ongoing Situation, UFC Staff Members have Been Robbed at Gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…
UFC fight weeks are cursed. There is always something. If it’s not fighters getting injured at the last minute, or Conor McGregor attacking buses, it’s staff getting attacked by Brazilian hoodlums. In an ongoing situation, first reported by Brett Okamoto, several UFC employees have been held up near their hotel.
Allegedly nobody has been injured. This isn’t the first time incidents have happened in Brazil. Although a beautiful country with fabulously friendly people, Brazil is also notorious for its crime and corrupt police force. Tourists are always warned to be on alert and not to take risks, particularly during sporting events.
Now the UFC will have to deal with the employee fallout that will emerge from this unfortunate situation. UFC 224 has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons. The event has been underpromoted and main event star Amanda Nunes is not impressed.
Dana White spoke to media this morning and revealed that a number of UFC employees had been held up by armed assailants in Rio de Janeiro. Brett Okamoto quoted the UFC president in a report on Twitter. He wrote:
“Just spoke to UFC president Dana White about an incident that is apparently ongoing right now in Brazil. White was just told several employees and others associated with UFC 224 were held up at gunpoint near the host hotel in Rio. No one hurt. Police involved now.”
That’s very unfortunate. There was great excitement in the buildup to the event. Cards in Brazil are usually great fun and the fans are well-known for their passion. Obviously, safety becomes paramount now.
Fortunately, there were no reported injuries. The crewmembers are believed to be shaken but escaped any harm. Okamoto reported:
“Some UFC employees definitely involved. Have not heard of any fighters involved as of right now (weigh-in is tomorrow morning). Those affected are canceling stolen passports and credit cards. White told me security footage is being pulled.”
This isn’t the first time UFC employees have become unwitting casualties of events. Conor McGregor injured a crew member during his rampage during the run-up to UFC 223. Poor guys.
UFC 224 is a stacked card. It has Amanda Nunes fighting Raquel Pennington in a bantamweight title fight. This is also noteworthy because it’s the first time in UFC history that two openly gay fighters are facing off in the octagon. Power puncher Nunes defends her belt for the third time.
Meanwhile, home favorite Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza takes on Kelvin Gastelum in a fight with major implications for the UFC middleweight division. The winner is almost certainly guaranteed to get the next title shot against either Robert Whittaker or Yoel Romero.
The heavily promoted Mackenzie Dern takes on Amanda Cooper in a flyweight clash, while Vitor Belfort faces Lyoto Machida in a battle of Brazil. It’s a night of quality fights. Let’s hope the staff members are all okay, and that there are no more incidents like this.