After being adament for so long UFC president Dana White, finally relented and canceled UFC 249
The card originally had the much anticipated fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event slot. The fight in particular has been described as cursed, after now being axed for the fifth time throughout the years, with broken ribs and Ferguson injuring himself by tripping over cables previous cancellation reasons.
Initially a Russian travel ban ruled out Khabib , with lightweight contender Justin Gaethje stepping up to the fight for the interim title. With various venues refusing to hold the fights it was thought that White could stage Gaethje v Ferguson on tribal lands in California, where the state athletic commission couldn’t intervene.
Before the cancellation was announced, Rose Namajunas, who was scheduled to co-main event with Jessica Andrade, withdrew from the event following the deaths of two family members who had contracted the coronavirus.
UFC’s broadcaster ESPN eventually stepped in and put an end to the whole event. The Disney owned corporation released an official statement
“(We have) been in constant contact with the UFC regarding UFC 249. 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.”