ESPN has issued a brief statement after it was confirmed that they played an important role in shutting down the controversial UFC 249 event.
It was confirmed last night that UFC 249 will not be going ahead on April 18 as we previously thought. UFC president Dana White did just about everything in his power to get the job done, but in the end, the higher ups at Disney and ESPN put a stop to proceedings.
In a statement obtained by MMA Junkie, ESPN had the following to say on the matter.
“ESPN has been in constant contact with the UFC regarding UFC 249,” the statement read. “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.”
It goes to show that while White and the UFC may not make any adjustments when it’s just the MMA media making noise, once things go up a tier, there’s not all too much they can do.
With White still pushing ahead with his UFC Fight Island idea, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not ESPN also attempts to put a stop to that, too. These are unprecedented times as we’ve all been saying for weeks now, but one constant seems to be Dana White’s complete and utter determination to push on in the face of adversity.
He’s always spoken about the love he has for the UFC’s partnership with ESPN since it first began, and while it’s probably been tested in the last 24 hours, this was the right decision in the interest of public health.
Now, we just have to wait and see how much longer it’s going to be before UFC fans are able to sit back and enjoy live fights once again.