On Monday, the UFC called off its next three events with the news delivered by promotional president Dana White to his staff via email.
White appeared on SportsCenter and said they were ready to go on Saturday at the FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma but when President Trump advised gatherings not exceed ten people, they had to pull the plug.
They have also announced that the March 28th and April 11th shows are also off. The latter two were re-located from Columbus Ohio and Portland, Oregon respectively to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas but that was halted when the Nevada State Athletic Commission moved to revoke licensing of any events through at least March 25th.
Speaking to ESPN, White added that UFC 249 headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will still happen on April 18th. He said it might not even happen in the United States.
Below is a portion of the email that MMA Junkie obtained:
So many people have reached out over the past few days to say thanks for not canceling our Brasilia event on Saturday. When weird things happen in the world, or when there’s a tragedy, like the October 1 shooting, people want things to get back to normal, and nothing feels more normal than watching sports.
We did everything we could to relocate our next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland. But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule. We can’t even hold an event in Vegas, our home town, because there’s a ban on all combat sports events in Nevada until at least March 25.
As you heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do—we find a way to keep our events going no matter what. If fighters miss weight, if fighters get hurt, or if states won’t regulate us, we figure out a way. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.