In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought the sports world to a halt, the UFC has postponed their upcoming events through April 11.
The cancellation news will mean three fight cards: UFC London, UFC Columbus, and UFC Portland (all fight night events) will not take place as operation has stopped for the leader in combat sports. As things are put on hold until mid-April, UFC President Dana White is not ready to pull the plug on one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
UFC 249 was scheduled to take place on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York and was to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top contender Tony Ferguson. This is the fifth attempt by the UFC to book this matchup, and while the COVID-19 pandemic has seemingly shut down all sporting events for the foreseeable future, Dana White isn’t ready to lose hope on Khabib vs Ferguson. During an interview with SportsCenter where he explained the decision to cancel upcoming events, White also revealed that he believes the fight will happen, even if they have to move it to another country.
“We have no choice now but to postpone these fights. So we’re postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, April 18, is still on and that will still happen.”@danawhite joined @SportsCenter to address the postponement of upcoming UFC events. pic.twitter.com/FxKOAKnOEv
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 16, 2020
“We’re postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, April 18, is still on and that will still happen.” White said on SportsCenter when providing an update, and then he was asked about how the UFC plans to get the fight to happen, he gave the detailed plans.
“Well, we’re going to follow these guidelines to not have more than 10 people in a room and we’re hoping that this all clears up by April. This fight’s going to happen, no crowd, whatever it takes, probably not even going to be in the United States, but this fight is going to happen.”
As a worldwide pandemic has brought chaos and concern throughout the real life world and the sports world, Dana White still seems optimistic that the biggest scheduled fight for 2020 will go on as scheduled. Whether or not that fight will happen in front of a crowd, in the United States or elsewhere, all remain to be seen.