UFC 249 Finally Cancelled : ESPN Higher Powers Play Huge Role – White
The Ultimate Fighting Championship pulled the plug on their UFC 249 plans on Thursday after weeks of struggling to stage the event which was scheduled for April 18th amid the Corona Virus pandemic.
The UFC president Dana White, the UFC Staffs and management had been through many huddles, which includes the complete shuffling and rebooking of the UFC 249 fight card after a couple of fighters pulled out, struggles with travel and gathering restrictions and the search for new venue for the event after the T-Mobile Arena and venues in the US got hit with government restrictions.
However White , who has been the main reason why the UFC has been hell bent on staging the event, was the one to share us the disappointing News.
UFC President Dana White spoke to Brett Okamoto about #UFC249 no longer taking place on April 18.
(via @bokamotoESPN) https://t.co/VRP5jL3k9J
“I told you this whole thing has been a battle since Day 1,” White said in a video interview with ESPN’s Brett 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 of ESPN. One thing that I’ve said since we started our relationship and partnership with ESPN – and 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.”
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ESPN also released in a statement :
“ESPN has been in constant contact with the UFC regarding UFC 249. Nobody wants to see sports return more than we do, but we didn’t feel this was the right time for a variety of reasons. ESPN expressed its concerns to the UFC and they understood.”
The UFC had shown how rock headed they were last month as while other sporting organisation we were shorting down and postponing their events , the UFC staged an event one week later on March 14th in Brasil behind closed doors and it was after the the UFC got hit with travel restrictions and Bans on large gatherings before the Promotion postponed three of their events.
Dana White was so he’ll hell bent on stage UFC 249 that even after losing its initial Headlining lightweight battle between Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, the promotion replace Khabib with Justin Gaethje for the main event, making it for the Interim lightweight title and add some more fights to the card.
After their Venue got hit with gathering restrictions, The UFC went in search of a venue and before the cancelation Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, Calif., was reported to be the new venue as confirmed by White. This was a way of bypassing the laws placed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, as the land is located in a federally as a tribal land and exempt from such laws and orders.
White also said he had booked the venue for two months to host events within the period and that he has also booked a private island to host international events.
The Tachi Palace wasn’t officially announced as the venue for the event but became well known as the Venue for the event. The California State Athletic Commission along with other Athletic Commissions had voiced concerns over the insistent behaviour by the UFC to host the event. Not withstanding, the UFC President Dana White Express gratitude to the Tachi people for their support.
“One thing I need to point out is that Tachi Palace in California, the Indian reservation, has had our back this whole time and has stood their ground and was willing to do this fight,” White said. “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 going to bring them a big fight, and I appreciate them standing with me in this thing.”