Dana White says UFC 249 will not be taking place after all

Tuesday 14 April 2020 12:21, UK

Dana White UFC
Image: UFC president Dana White had planned to continue with the sport's calendar

UFC 249 has been canceled after ESPN and parent company Disney stopped UFC President Dana White's plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After vowing to maintain a regular schedule of fights, White announced the decision to cease competition on ESPN, the UFC's broadcast partner in a reported $1.5bn deal.

UFC 249 was scheduled for April 18 at an unannounced location, and White planned to follow it with weekly fight cards.

In an interview with ESPN, White said he had received calls from "the powers that be there (at Disney), and they asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday".

Former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas had pulled out of her bout with Jessica Andrade, following the death of two of her relatives from COVID-19.

More on this story

With rumours that the event would take place at a casino in California, state senator Dianne Feinstein called for the event to be postponed, as it was contrary to the state's "shelter in place" directive which is intended to combat the spread of the coronavirus.