A professional association well-versed on matters of health and safety has come out in favor of the suspension of combat sports until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

The board of directors of the Association of Ringside Physicians issued a statement Monday urging the postponement of all combat sports events until the novel coronavirus is contained, regardless how many people are in attendance at the event. The letter comes on the same day as news broke the UFC will go ahead with UFC 249 on April 18, at a site to be determined, with a main event of Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje.

In addition to concerns for the health of the fighters and everyone else associated with a combat sports event, the board also noted it is not unusual for combat sports participants to require medical attention after fights, which would add strain to medical facilities which in some places are already struggling to keep up with the pace of COVID-19 cases.

You can read the statement in full below:

The Association of Ringside Physicians has been actively following the recommendations of the CDC as well as other professional medical societies concerned with the spread of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus.

Sporting events across the world have been cancelled in response to the increased risk of infection and transmission by participants, fans, officials, and support staff.

It is our recommendation that all combat sporting events be postponed until further notice. This includes any and all events, regardless of the number of people involved. Any combat sport taking place during this global pandemic places the athletes, officials, and anyone else involved in the event under unnecessary risk of infection and transmission of Covid-19. In addition, combat sports athletes often require medical attention after a bout, and we do not wish to see any additional strain on an already overwhelmed medical system.

We continue to monitor this ever-evolving situation, and our thoughts continue to be with those who have been and will be affected by this disease.

Our organization remains steadfast in our mission: to serve, protect, and educate all involved in combative sports.