According to a recent report from the New York Times, California governor Gavin Newsom served as the catalyst behind UFC 249 being shut down.
Last night the confirmation came through that UFC 249, which was set to take place on April 18, will no longer be happening as a result of Disney and ESPN officials informing UFC president Dana White that they wanted him to stand down.
Now, though, it appears as if there was another entity involved in the decision making process – and a pretty important one at that.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who put a stay-at-home order in place that wouldn’t have applied to the Tachi Palace Casino Resort facility the UFC intended to host the event at, supposedly intervened directly and spoke with executives at Disney. He let them know that he felt they needed to speak with White and the UFC, encouraging them not to do the event.
When a man of his stature enters the conversation and lets you know what he thinks, it feels like there’s only ever going to be one outcome.
White has made it crystal clear that he still wants to try and push ahead with the Fight Island idea that has been floating around for a week or two now, but with the peak of the coronavirus outbreak not yet being hit in the United States, that may also fall apart over the course of the next few weeks.
There’s been no word as of yet regarding whether or not Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje will be rebooked, or whether the plan will be for the UFC to revert back to the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight that was initially supposed to serve as the main event for UFC 249.
All we know right now is that it’s going to be a while before we see the UFC putting on live fights again.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/10/2020.