mma / News

UFC 249 Canceled, Future UFC Events Postponed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 9, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

The long struggle over how and if UFC 249 will take place is over, as the company has canceled the event. Dana White confirmed to ESPN that the PPV will not take place on April 18th as planned after Disney leaned on pushed for the company to postpone the show. In addition, the company is postponing all future UFC events for the time being until it is more able to safely run shows.

“Today, we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN,” White told the site. “One thing I’ve said since we began our relationship and partnership with ESPN that it’s been an incredible one. It’s been an amazing partnership. ESPN has been very, very good to us and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday.”

The UFC’s official statement read:

“While the organization was fully prepared to proceed with UFC 249, ESPN has requested the postponement of the event and subsequent bouts until further notice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. UFC looks forward to resuming the full live events schedule as soon as possible.”

The move puts a final nail in the coffin of the April 18th hosting of the PPV, which White has been adamant would happen even as it looked less and less likely. States throughout the country have been issuing lockdown and stay-at-home orders, making it increasingly difficult for the UFC to hold the show at a venue. White announced yesterday that the show would go on at a private location, which was eventually reported to be tribal land at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Lemoore, California.

However, there were a host of complications even then as the Association of Ringside Physicians had urged combat sports be postponed regardless of crowd. In addition, Rose Namajunas pulled out of the show yesterday for what has since been revealed to be coronavirus deaths in her family.

White has promised that he will hold an event at Tachi Palace when he is able to, saying, “We’re ready to go. And one thing I need to point out that Tachi Palace in California, the Indian Reservation, has had our back the whole time. Has stood their ground and was willing to do this fight. Let me tell you this, when the world gets back to normal, the California event will be at Tachi Palace. I’m doing a fight there. I’m gonna bring them a big fight. I appreciate them standing with me in this thing.”

White added, “One other thing I really want to point out. All of my fighters that are under contract with me, I want them to feel safe. Take time with your families. Enjoy this time. Don’t worry about the financial side of this. You’re going to get the fights on your contract and I’m gonna make things right with the people that were willing to step up and fight next weekend. I’m gonna take care of as many people as I possibly can and do whatever it takes to make these guys feel comfortable,” he stated.

“All of my employees, nobody is getting laid off at the UFC. We will be the first sport back. Fight Island is real. The infrastructure is being built right now. That’s really gonna happen and it will be on ESPN. That’s it. That’s where we stand right now.”

article topics :

UFC 249, Jeremy Thomas