After first notifying his employees, UFC president Dana White went on ESPN's SportsCenter on Monday to announce publicly that the next three UFC events would be postponed. He added, however, that UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson would happen as scheduled, even if they have to do the fight outside of the United States.
Dana White insists they were ready to have a UFC event this Saturday
"We're ready to go on Saturday. We're ready to go live on ESPN Saturday night from Fire Lake Arena, Indian Reservation in Oklahoma City. We have the card. We have the fighters. We have everything. But obviously, the President just spoke to the country and basically said... it started at 50 people per room, which made it difficult. So we complied. We took all the fans out and we made sure that there were as few production people in the room as possible. We pulled it off last Saturday. Now they're saying there should be no more than 10 in a room and that's just impossible. We can't do it."
UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson will happen, probably outside the United States
"We've complied with everything that the government and these doctors have said to do. We have no choice now but to postpone these fights. But Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib, April 18, is still on and that one will happen. We're going to follow these guidelines to not have more than 10 people in a room and we're hoping that this all clears up by April. This fight is gonna happen, no crowd, whatever it takes. Probably not even gonna be in the United States, but this fight is gonna happen."
Why was UFC one of the last sports organizations to shut down?
"Listen, this is what we do. We put fights on every weekend. The fighters want to fight. The fans want to see it. I've had nothing but positive feedback from the fans and the fighters. These guys all want to continue and we will. Obviously we've had some blowback from the media that covers us, but everybody's gonna have their opinions. We're gonna continue on. These three fights were postponed, they will still happen, and Khabib vs. Tony is on for the original date. We're gonna keep fighting."
(Courtesy of ESPN MMA)