California Governor Gavin Newsom Had A Hand In Canceling UFC 249

Gavin Newsom
Photo via Instagram @gavinnewsom

Governor Gavin Newsom Requested Disney To Shutdown UFC 249

The MMA world was thrown on it’s head when it was revealed that UFC 249 would not be taking place. Now it has been revealed that a part of the reason the plug was pulled on the event, was because of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Let’s face it, UFC 249 was likely doomed from the start. Between the UFC wanting to put on the arguably cursed fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson for the fifth time, and the fact that they were trying to hold an event during a global health crisis, it seemed unlikely the card would take place. Nevertheless that did not stop Dana White from insisting that things would continue on April 18th as planned.

Ultimately that would not happen, as UFC 249 was canned just a little over a week away from the contest. White said that this was due to pressure from the higher ups at ESPN and Disney, urging him to “stand down.” However new reports seem to indicate that the decision made by these executives may have been a result of a request from California Governor Gavin Newsom, who begged the UFC to consider canceling the event, in a statement just an hour before the official news broke.

“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. 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.

“I call on Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Tachi-Yokut Tribe to reconsider this event and delay it until a later date. We have to be responsible and mindful of all local, state and federal public health guidelines. Going ahead with this event is not the right move.”

Whether or not the cancelation of UFC 249 was due to Governor Newsom is somewhat irrelevant. All that matters is that this was the right decision, even if it was a difficult one to make.

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