CSAC vows not to participate in UFC 249

Tony Ferguson, VaynerSports
Image via @ufc on Instagram

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has vowed not to participate in or regulate the upcoming UFC 249 event on April 18.

There’s been a great deal of speculation over where exactly the UFC would hold the blockbuster event, with it now being reported that it will be held on tribal land in California. The card is set to be headlined by Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje for the Interim Lightweight Championship.

Because it’ll be taking place on tribal land, there doesn’t need to be a commission involved to sanction it. However, out of clarity, the CSAC has made sure that their feelings on the matter are known, as reported by The New York Times.

“The commission echoes the guidance of California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Department of Public Health, local health officials, and the recommendations of the Association of Ringside Physicians regarding the cancellation of events where people may be at risk of contracting Covid-19 and encourages the industry to do the same. The commission will not participate in the U.F.C. event on April 18, regardless of the event location.”

Morally speaking, the decision to host UFC 249 at all – regardless of where on Earth it takes place – is a controversial one. Nobody really knows whether or not the event is still going to go ahead, and if it does, the risks are evident. It seems as if their relationship with the CSAC could suffer, too, and if that happens, their ability to take fights back to the state once this is all over could be harmed.

It’ll be great for Gaethje to get a shot at a world title if, indeed, this fight does go ahead, but the fact that Ferguson is once again having to earn a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov is unfortunate. 

What do you think of this statement from the CSAC?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/8/2020.