UFC 249 Canceled, Future Events Suspended Indefinitely Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Despite plans to the contrary, UFC 249 has been canceled, with all future events suspended indefinitely as a result of coronavirus. It's the latest sport to be disrupted as a result of the global pandemic, which includes both The NBA and the 2020 Olympic Games. UFC president Dana White spoke to ESPN, where he said that "this whole thing has been a battle since day one."

"We've been fighting non-stop all day and all night since this pandemic started to put on this event on April 18," White said. "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've started our relationship with ESPN is that it's been an incredible one, it's been an amazing partnership, ESPN has been very good to us. The powers that be there have asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday."

"We're ready to go, and one thing I need to point out is that Tachi Palace out in California, the Indian reservation, has had our bak this whole time, has stood their ground and was willing to do this fight, and lemme tell you this, when the world gets back to normal, the California event will be at Tachi Palace. I appreciate them standing with me in this thing.

One other thing I wanna really point out: all of my fighters that are under contract with 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 gonna get the fights on your contract and make right with people willing to were willing to step up and fight. I'm gonna take care of as many people as I possibly can. Nobody's getting laid off at the UFC. We will be the first sport back."

White also teased that "Fight Island is real" and "the infrastructure is being built right now."

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Fight Island refers to a private island that White said on Tuesday he was "a day or two" away from securing. The aim is for the UFC to hold international fights with international fighters, given not all international fighters will be able to gain entry into the U.S.

"I'm going to start flying them into the private island and doing the international fights from there," White told TMZ.