UFC President Dana White fought hard to keep UFC 249 alive after the card was moved from Brooklyn, New York due to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, once California’s Governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom discovered that Dana would be running the event in his state, Newsom made a call to Disney executives to shut down the event.
UFC 249 was scheduled to take place at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort outside of Fresno, the location would have been exempt from California stay at home orders. Dana White, in essence, found a way around Newsom, so Newsom went around the UFC.
The governor made a call to top Disney & ESPN executives and demanded they shut down the event. Disney, which is the parent company of ESPN, then made the call to White shutting down the event and indefinitely suspending all future events.
“We got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN,” White said.
“One thing that I’ve said since we started our relationship and partnership with ESPN – and it’s been an incredible one, it’s been an amazing partnership. ESPN has been very, very good to us, and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday.”
Dana White is currently setting up infrastructure to run fights in a private island at an unknown location. California is rumored to be shutting down the state until at least July due to the Coronavirus outbreak.