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UFC 249 canceled after ESPN/ABC told Dana White to ‘stand down’

Dana White was hoping to hold the event in California and book additional fights on an island. That is not happening.

UFC president Dana White interacts with media during the UFC 249 press conference at T-Mobile Arena on March 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC 249 has officially been canceled, days after organization president Dana White pushed forward a plan to hold the event at a casino on tribal land in California. The plan would have been a work-around to California’s shelter-in-place order, but higher powers cracked down on it.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting Disney and ABC executives asked White to “stand down.” White is doing so, and Helwani is reporting scheduled UFC events have been postponed indefinitely.

This all comes the same day United States Senator Dianne Feinstein called on UFC and the Tachi-Yokut Tribe to reconsider and delay the event. Although testing would be helpful, it would not be the only thing that could prevent an event like this from spreading Covid-19 elsewhere in the country. Fighters would fly in to California and potentially take the novel coronavirus to other parts of the country and spread it in their communities.