Tony Ferguson and Jason Gaethje were supposed to headline UFC 249, which has now been postponed
UFC 249 -- featuring a main event featuring two former wrestlers, Tony Ferguson and Jason Gaethje -- has been postponed, the mixed martial arts organization has announced.
Here is the text of the announcement at the official MMA website:
"While the organization was fully prepared to proceed with UFC 249, ESPN has requested the postponement of the event and subsequent bouts until further notice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. UFC looks forward to resuming the full live events schedule as soon as possible."
The event had originally scheduled as a pay-per-view for ESPN for Saturday, April 18. The location had not been announced.
Since the Ferguson-Gaethje headline bout for the interim lightweight (155-pound) title was announced Monday, there's been much speculation as to how the event could take place during the present coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, where sporting events are being canceled or postponed, including the 2020 NCAA wrestling championships, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The UFC was forced to postpone three events, on March 21, March 28 and April 11, because of the coronavirus, according to ESPN.com.
"All of my fighters that are under contract with me, I want them to feel safe, take time with your families and enjoy this time," UFC president Dana White said Thursday. "Don't worry about the financial part of this. You're gonna get the fights in your contract, and I'm gonna make things right with the people who were willing to step up and fight next weekend on April 18.
"And I'm gonna take care of as many people as I possibly can and do whatever it takes to make these guys all feel comfortable."