UFC 249 is off, all UFC events postponed indefinitely

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/04/09/ufc-249-is-off-all-ufc-events-postponed-indefinitely/

On Thursday evening, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC 249 pay-per-view was off with all shows postponed indefinitely following a request from their U.S. broadcast partner.

In an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, White stated that a call came from the highest level at Disney and ESPN asking White to cancel the event and not run next Saturday.

White added that all UFC events have been postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing pandemic.

Earlier this week, the UFC had announced the April 18th pay-per-view would take place from an ‘undisclosed location’, which White confirmed today was at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California.

The company was set to runs it’s next four events from this U.S. location while also finalizing a deal where they would have access to a private island to house fights involving international fighters.

In the interview with ESPN, White thanked Tachi Palace and promised to run a big card there in the future for having the UFC’s back and standing their ground.

All of my fighters that are under contract to me, I want them to feel safe, take time with your families and enjoy this time, don’t worry about the financial part of this. You’re going to get the fights on your contract and I’m going to make things right with the people that were willing to step up and fight next weekend on April 18th. I’m going to take care of as many people as I possibly can and do whatever it takes to make these guys all feel comfortable. All my employees, no one is getting laid off at the UFC, everybody is good. We will be the first sport back, fight island is real, it’s a real thing the infrastructure is being built right now and that’s really going to happen, and it will be on ESPN.

Earlier in the day, the plan to hold shows in California gained the attention of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who issued the following statement Thursday imploring the UFC to reconsider their decision:

I’m concerned by reports that Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in California, in defiance of the state’s shelter-in-place order. This event would involve dozens of individuals flying to California and driving to a casino for a purpose no one can honestly claim is essential.

I understand this event is scheduled to take place on tribal land and therefore is not subject to state law. However, at best this event ties up medical resources and sends a message that shelter-in-place orders can be flouted. At worst, participants and support staff could carry the virus back to their home communities and increase its spread.