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UFC 249 postponed after Dana asked White to withdraw

The battle site had to be moved from its original location in New York, United States, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to ESPN, White said that the “powers” of pay-per-view channel partner ESPN and parent company Disney expressed concern about the upcoming battle.
“Today we received a call from the top level that you can reach at Disney and from the top level from ESPN … and the forces there asked me to resign and not hold this event next Saturday,” said White.
White attends the press conference after the UFC Fight Night at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center.
White had originally thought that after UFC 249, the combat nights could go as planned in a safe place – he said on Monday that he was on the verge of acquiring a “private island” to host the events.

But on Thursday, White announced that all other UFC events had been postponed indefinitely, which the whole process calls a “fight.”

“While the organization was fully prepared to proceed with UFC 249, ESPN has requested that the event and subsequent fighting be postponed until further notice given the Covid 19 pandemic,” a UFC spokesman said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.

“UFC looks forward to resuming the full schedule of live events as soon as possible.”

The move follows the announcement that one of the co-main event’s fighters – Rose Namajunas – has withdrawn because two of her family members have died from the coronavirus, according to their manager Brian Butler.
Namajunas, second in straw weight, should fight Jessica Andrade for a rematch.
READ: Magic Johnson says defeating the coronavirus should include fighting racial differences

“Namajunas withdrew from UFC 249 due to two family deaths related to the Coronavirus,” Butler said in a statement. “She hopes to return to the octagon as soon as possible, but at the moment we are asking people to respect their privacy during this time.”

After a long search, UFC 249 was relocated to the Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Fresno, California.

The California State Athletic Commission did not ban all martial arts events in tribal areas until May 31.
But on Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement that she was “concerned” about the event.

“I am concerned about reports that the Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in California despite the state’s order to seek protection locally,” Feinstein said. “This event would host dozens of people who fly to California and drive to a casino for a purpose that no one can honestly say is essential.

“I understand that this event is to be held in tribal land and is therefore not subject to state law. At best, however, this event ties up medical resources and sends a message that protective orders can be disregarded. In the worst case, participants and support personnel could get the virus bring them back to their home communities and increase its distribution. “

White said he appreciated the venue owners “who help me with this.”

White talks to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“The Tachi Palace in California, the Indian Reservation, has had our backs all the time, has asserted itself, and was ready to fight. And let me say this: when the world comes back to normal, California, that [fight] will be at the Tachi Palace. “

In the main fight of UFC 249, the undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was to defend his title against the top candidate Tony Ferguson.

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After Nurmagomedov returned to his home in Dagestan, Russia, to remain in quarantine, Justin Gaethje signed to attend the main event.

Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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