Does this really surprise any of us? Did any of us think this was a good idea in the first place?
UFC 249 has dominated the headlines for months. The cursed fight of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov versus former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson fell apart again. Dana White had been scrambling to find a suitable location to make it happen but with all of the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic venues were hard to come by and the deal was sealed when Khabib got stuck in Russia after a travel lockdown.
Justin Gaethje stepped in and would be fighting Ferguson for the interim title but just like that – it’s not happening. It must be one heck of an emotional roller coaster for Justin because he was contacted about the fight he would be taking on short notice, did the full press rounds, and then finds out he wouldn’t be fighting for a belt after all. Let’s keep it real, no one should be fighting during this pandemic. No one.
Despite his verbal attacks on the media, anyone involved with trying to shut events down, and naysayers in general Dana White finally had to relent. Ariel Helwani reported that the top brass at Disney/ESPN put the pressure on to cancel and he had to call it. Can you imagine being in the room when he found out what he had been fighting for so hard was not going to have a happy ending? We couldn’t either. F bombs everywhere.
When Dana started talking about holding it on private islands, Native American casinos, and obscure countries that should have been a hint that it probably shouldn’t go on.
Here is what Ariel posted. Check it out.