UFC MAKES STATEMENT ON TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN
Las Vegas, NV (February 1st, 2017)– Last Friday, newly-elected United States President Donald Trump issued an executive order which effectively blocked entry by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries into the U.S. His decision, an extension of his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the country, will likely impact various sports, including the UFC.
Athletes across multiple sports have already released statements and offered their thoughts on the restrictive measures, including UFC middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi, who revealed that he may not be able to compete at UFC 210 in Buffalo because of the ban.
“I have the Dutch nationality, but I also have a visa,” Mousasi told Telesport (h/t Fansided.com). “But even with a visa you get in trouble, I heard. I’ll hear more about it this week though. The UFC lawyers are busy, and the people who arrange the visas are too. So it is not in my hands. My job is to train and get ready for the game. It’s just annoying.”
Trump’s executive order bars refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and indefinitely suspended refugees entry from Syria. The order also included a 90-day ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen). Mousasi’s concern prompted the UFC to release a statement regarding the executive order and how it could potentially impact the sport.
“We are aware of the federal travel ban,” UFC officials said in a statement to BloodyElbow’s Karim Zidan. “There are numerous variables including a judicial injunction. We are monitoring and will be affirmatively engaged to ensure that our fighters and employees are able to compete and do their jobs.”
As it stands, the ban could potentially impact other UFC fighters like Iraqi-Canadian Randa Markos, Reza Madadi, and Jarjis Danho.