UFC 249 has officially been canceled. Despite Dana White insisting the event would take place, it's now completely off. Oh, and his dreams of holding weekly fights on a private island seem to be over too, as all future UFC events are now on hold.
Of course this is the result here. We've been saying for a while that UFC 249 should have been canceled as soon as Khabib Nurmagomedov pulled out. After that it absolutely didn't make sense for the card to happen. But White kept pushing forward despite how reckless holding an event during a pandemic would be.
While holding fights on a private island with a limited number of people present had some promise, there's now way to make an event like that perfectly safe. The first fighter or staffer to contract coronavirus from such an event would likely lead to a shutdown anyway.
This could have been a great opportunity for the UFC to corner the market with no live sports on anywhere, continuing to hold events would have been dangerous. All that bravado about continuing forward is now by the wayside.
White claimed people at the highest levels of Disney and ESPN asked him to stand down from holding fights.
As for UFC 249, while Tony Ferguson fighting Justin Gaethje would have been fun, Ferguson should just wait for another chance to face Nurmagomedov instead. That's the fight everyone wants to see and hopefully the UFC can make it happen in a few months.
Unfortunately, UFC 249, which was one of the most-anticipated cards of the year, is now gone and any future events are also in doubt as well.