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UFC 249 cancelled, all UFC shows postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic

No UFC 249, no UFC 250, no UFC whatsoever because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UFC Fight Night Andrade v Zhang Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images

The hammer has inevitably dropped on the UFC’s outrageous plans to run events even during a worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Just days after Dana White announced that UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje and other scheduled events would proceed, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported Thursday afternoon that UFC 249 is off and the promotion’s lineup of bouts have to be shelved indefinitely.

White also told Okamoto that ESPN/Disney executives put the kibosh on his plans.

While not confirmed by the promotion themselves, it was widely reported that the UFC would hold its next several events at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, CA. The casino is on tribal land and thus would not be subject to sanctioning by the California State Athletic Commission. Senator Dianne Feinstein had just called for the event to be delayed literally minutes before the news broke.

White also made an outrageous claim that he was close to securing a private island for international fighters who can’t travel to the US, but that’s presumably off the table. UPDATE: Guess not!

All of these moves have been met with widespread skepticism and criticism of the UFC for skirting shelter-in-place orders and physical distancing guidelines, but White has been adamant for weeks that the show would go on. Evidently, ESPN/Disney decided the show won’t go on, and they’re the ones paying the UFC a lot of money to broadcast content.

We’ll update this story with more details as they’re made available, but we do know that the UFC is not coming back any time soon.