“Today, we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney, and the highest level of ESPN … and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday,” White said.
Additionally, all other UFC events have been postponed indefinitely.
“While the organization was fully prepared to proceed with UFC 249, ESPN has requested the postponement of the event and subsequent bouts until further notice in light of the Covid-19 pandemic,” a UFC spokesperson said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.
“UFC looks forward to resuming the full live events schedule as soon as possible.”
UFC 249 had been moved to Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Fresno, California.
On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement that the event should be postponed.
“I’m concerned by reports that Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in California, in defiance of the state’s shelter-in-place order,” Feinstein said. “This event would involve dozens of individuals flying to California and driving to a casino for a purpose no one can honestly claim is essential.
“I understand this event is scheduled to take place on tribal land and therefore is not subject to state law. However, at best this event ties up medical resources and sends a message that shelter-in-place orders can be flouted. At worst, participants and support staff could carry the virus back to their home communities and increase its spread.”