This wasn’t a huge surprise with the current events going on in the world now, but man, this still sucks. A couple days ago I blogged about how Dana White bought an island to host UFC fights on, so he could do whatever he wanted to have the fights all go on during this pandemic. But apparently, all that came to a halt today with the UFC now cancelled along with every other sport.
A few days ago, Khabib Nurmagomedov had to drop out of the much anticipated lightweight title bout against Tony Ferguson coming up at UFC 249 on the 18th just about a week and a half away. This is the fifth time that Khabib/Tony’s gotten cancelled. Which sucks cause they’re both two of the best fighter’s the sport has ever seen and we have never been able to see it happened. Always seemed close to happening and then something comes up and gets it cancelled. This time, the coronavirus pandemic preventing Khabib from flying out of Russia into the United States for the fight. Dana White was quickly able to put together an interim title fight between Tony and Just Gaethje, who’s electric to watch. Solid fight in general, especially with how quick it was scheduled.
Earlier today, it was reported that Rose Namajunas withdrew from the co-main event, her second strawweight fight against Jessica Andrade. And according to her manager, it due to two coronavirus related deaths in her family.
Terrible situation for Rose and at that point, it wouldn’t have looked great for the UFC to continue to be the only sport with events still going on while the rest of the world is shut down because of coronavirus. Especially with one of the top names on the card being directly effected by it in her family.
A few hours later, it became official that the UFC was shutting down with the rest of the sports world.
Dana White still wanted the show to go on, but the executives at ESPN and Disney wouldn’t let it happen on their network. For as much as I don’t like ESPN as a network in general, I gotta admit that this year since switching from FOX to ESPN as the broadcast network of the UFC, ESPN has done a fantastic job. And this does definitely make sense, its a bad look for the sport to have it go on while the rest of the world is taking more safety precautions and not even leaving their houses.
I was so pumped for these fights to happen. During normal times, I still would have been pumped to watch this loaded PPV. Especially now with no sports going on, I couldn’t wait for these fights. I miss sports, I miss talking about sports, I miss gambling. I wanted to bet every fight on this card, just to get the rush of betting again. It would’ve given us the feel of things being back to normal. But the move to cancel is the right thing to do. Let’s just keep up the social distancing, flatten the curve more and beat this thing. So all the sports we love, including the UFC come back sooner than later.
Then maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a sixth shot at finally seeing Khabib and Tony have their fight for the lightweight belt and arguably go down as the best fighter that the UFC has ever seen.