UFC 249 was declared to continue in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. But after drawing criticism, the calendar duel was officially postponed.
UFC 249 is planned to hold a major duel between Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson. However, Khabib as the holder of the light class title, withdrew from the duel because he could not leave Russia due to the corona pandemic.
Tony also continued to advance, and get his replacement opponent, Justin Gaethje. The duel is claimed to continue to be held on April 19 or next week and will be held on an island in the United States.
The UFC’s stance of holding a duel in the middle of a pandemic has drawn a lot of criticism. Until finally, UFC President Dana White agreed to postpone the duel due to pressure from ESPN and Disney, its broadcast partners.
‘All of this has been a battle from day one. Today, we got a call from the highest level you can go to Disney and the highest level on ESPN,’ White said, as reported by the BBC.
‘The forces that were there asked me to discourage and not do this event next Saturday,’ he said.
Ferguson, who was originally eager to fight, only responded to the brief cancellation of the duel. The 36-year-old fighter claimed he could only continue training as usual.
‘You know? Yes, I’m sure that’s for a good reason. I will keep smiling, I will continue to practice. I will be a little muscular. Now I am thin, and I will be a little muscular,’ said the man from the United States.