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9 May, 2020 11:42

Trump is watching: Dana White says US President Donald Trump is keeping tabs on UFC 249 ahead of fight night (VIDEO)

UFC president Dana White said his team has worked flat out to keep fighters safe ahead of UFC 249, and revealed President Donald Trump is watching developments in Jacksonville ahead of fight night in Florida.

Speaking to US showbiz outlet TMZ ahead of UFC 249 – and before news of Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza's positive coronavirus test – White laid out the challenges that his team faced during fight week.

Also on rt.com UFC star Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza TESTS POSITIVE for COVID-19, but UFC 249 will still GO AHEAD (VIDEO)

"Going into it, obviously there's going to be no fans here," he began.

"We've cut the staff way down, the people that cover the event and work behind the scenes. We're doing multiple testing, two different types of testing.

"Health and safety is something that we worry about every single weekend, not just since this coronavirus popped up. But there's going to be a lot of testing going on here. We have a really good staff and a group of people who work these events. We've got great doctors here, that are all over these guys and checking 'em, testing 'em, screening 'em. So this thing's going to be as safe as it possibly can.

"Nothing is ever 100% guaranteed, but this thing's going to be as safe as it can possibly be. And other sports can do this, too. It's just really expensive and you have to spend the money."

Also on rt.com Fighting with their fingers crossed: 'Jacare' Souza's positive test means the shadow of COVID-19 looms large over UFC 249 (VIDEO)

White also revealed that United States President Donald Trump was also keeping tabs on developments in Jacksonville as White and the UFC look to hold the first major sporting event since the COVID-19 pandemic caused quarantine and social-distancing measures to be introduced across the nation.

"Absolutely (he's watching)," White said, as he revealed the pair had spoken prior to fight week.

"His whole philosophy was, 'Let's get sports back first, figure out how to do that safely. Then let's start figuring out how do you get people back in the office, how do you get people in cubicles? And then, how do you get kids back in school?'

"So this is something we've been working on, and yes, he's absolutely watching what we're doing this weekend."

Also on rt.com UFC 249: An all-time classic between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje beckons as UFC emerges from coronavirus hiatus (VIDEO)