UFC 249 will not be going ahead.
The event, which has faced nearly every logistical issue it was possible to face, was set to go ahead next Saturday on April 18 and feature Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the card has finally been axed.
BREAKING: UFC 249 has been canceled. All UFC events postponed indefinitely, due to COVID-19. Dana White says he was ready to promote the event but things were taken out of his control. Much, much more on this to come.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 9, 2020
UFC President Dana White spoke to Brett Okamoto about #UFC249 no longer taking place on April 18.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 9, 2020
“UFC 249 has been canceled. All UFC events postponed indefinitely, due to COVID-19. Dana White says he was ready to promote the event but things were taken out of his control. Much, much more on this to come,” Okamoto reported.
It comes, UFC president Dana White says, after ESPN executives asked him to cancel the event.
“I told you this whole thing has been a battle since day one,” White said, speaking to Okamoto. “We’ve been fighting non-stop all day and all night since this pandemic started to put on this event on April 18. And today we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level you can go at ESPN.
“One thing I’ve said since the start of our partnership at ESPN is 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.”
All UFC events going forward has been postponed.