MMA fans were less than two weeks away from the return of the UFC with UFC 249, which was going to be headlined by former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson facing former WSOF Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje for the vacant UFC Interim Lightweight Title.
However, all of those hopes were dashed yesterday when UFC President Dana White revealed that Disney and ESPN higher ups asked him to stand down and cancel UFC 249, plus postpone future UFC cards due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York Times has now published a story stating the California Governor Gavin Newsom was the one who called Disney, allegedly influencing them to have the UFC cancel UFC 249 and postpone upcoming cards.
Newsom’s alleged involvement wasn’t the first for those opposing the UFC running UFC 249, as California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Dutch TV station Talpa both issued statements opposing the card.
While Newsom and others may have been able to cancel UFC 249, it looks like they will have little to no way of stopping the promotion from running events on “Fight Island,” which is a secret location White and the UFC are building to hold future cards it and it should be ready to go in about one month according to White himself.