Dana White has announced that all future UFC events — including the ill-fated UFC 249 — have been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, White said that he’d received a call from the “highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN” asking him not to hold the event. Citing his contentment with the partnership that ESPN and the UFC had built, White then made the decision to cancel all upcoming events. This includes UFC 249, scheduled for April 18.
The promotion had made various efforts to adjust to the changes necessitated by the regulations and restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including holding a March event behind closed doors and postponing multiple other events set to take place until early April. However, White had been determined to make UFC 249 happen. The event faced venue changes and a whole host of fight reshuffles as athletes like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rose Namajunas had to withdraw.
White believed he had found a solution to the location debacle, having planned to hold the event on tribal land in California and saying he secured a “private island” for other events to allow international fighters to compete without having to deal with immigration restrictions that would prevent them from entering the US. However, commentator Joe Rogan, who wasn’t sure if he even wanted to work UFC 249, expressed concerns that a location for the fight hadn’t even been locked in yet.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times will provide updates on this situation as they become available.