Speaking to ESPN Thursday 9/4/2020, Dana White revealed he would be cancelling UFC 249 and postponing all scheduled events. This decision came after White was contacted by top Disney executives regarding holding events during this global pandemic.
Regarding future plans for events, White told his fighters not to worry, as the planned private island should be completed in the next month.
“That’s why I’m telling all of my guys not to worry because Fight Island is going to happen. All of the infostructure is being built right now, getting put in place. As we get closer to that, I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus I can ship guys over there earlier and they can start training over there on the island.”
“So once that’s all in place, you’re looking at like a month. A month I’ll have that all put together and guys can start training and can go there. I’m sure people are going to be ready to get out of their houses in another month and go to an island and train. So it’s all coming together, it’s all going to happen. I could go next week but this is what it is, I’ll see you in a month”.
This comes days after White’s plan to purchase a private island was announced. The UFC had planned to hold events at an undisclosed location within the USA for the next two months. Due to the border restrictions, this would mean international fighters would not be able to compete at these events, they would only be able to compete once fights are being held on the island.
It’s still unclear the plans for UFC 249. The event was originally set to hold a bout between Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former interim champion Tony Ferguson. This was recently changed as Khabib would not be able to leave Russia in order to compete. It was then announced Tony Ferguson would face contender Justin Gaethje for the interim Lightweight title.
Who do you think will face Tony Ferguson?