The news came just days after it was revealed the promotion had booked the event, headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, at the Tachi Palace Resort Casino in Lemoore, Calif., on tribal land not subject to a mandatory stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The pay-per-view originally was slated to feature the highly anticipated fight between reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Ferguson inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. But when New York governor Andrew Cuomo implemented strict new guidelines on mass gatherings, the promotion sought a new location.
The fight card then took a major hit when Nurmagomedov became stranded in Russia, and was forced to bow out of a fifth booking against Tony Ferguson. Promotion officials then tabbed Gaethje as the replacement while moving the entire card across the country.
Until today, White planned to proceed at Tachi Palace with extensive testing of all attendees and no audience. But he later broke the news to ESPN that the “powers that be” with his broadcast partner asked to him cancel the event.
Here is how the MMA community reacted to the news.
I just accepted my 3rd opponent in a week... sucks. Stay safe everyone !— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) April 9, 2020
Ughhhhhhhhhhh smh— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 9, 2020
Smh the weaklings won— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 9, 2020
I believe him when he says UFC will be the first sport back. Now let’s hope we as fighters get 3 fights a year after all this. Also, you have to admit Dana is the most motivated president in sports. https://t.co/94C1JC54U2— Aiemann Zahabi (@Aiemannzahabi) April 9, 2020
Fuck....— Ray Borg (@tazmexufc) April 9, 2020
Wow!!! It is what it is.... what can you do ♂️ https://t.co/9YA43h4aGF— Max Griffin (@MaxPainGriffin) April 9, 2020
All fighters: time to fuckin eat— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) April 9, 2020
Probably for the best but damn I’m hurt https://t.co/hxSFCjrnZP— Benito Lopez (@Savage_530) April 9, 2020