The last few weeks have been a struggle for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), president Dana White, and all of the fighters involved with UFC 249. After the promotion worked tirelessly to keep the April 18th event on schedule amidst ongoing COVID-19 restrictions it was all for nothing as Disney and ESPN pulled the plug at the recommendation of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
While every fighter on the UFC 249 card was affected by the last-minute change, Tony Ferguson has the most to complain about (even though he hasn’t). Not only did Ferguson have his original opponent, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, pull out of their main event and replaced by Justin Gaethje, but “El Cucuy” had to find out about UFC 249’s cancellation during an interview.
It wasn’t the most ideal way to discover you’re no longer fighting for a UFC title, especially considering the time and effort Ferguson has put into his training camp over the past few months, but this is the nature of the game nowadays.
Luckily, Ferguson has the support of his fellow MMA fighters, such as Bellator MMA women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, who posted the following message to social media earlier this week:
While Cyborg has an ongoing feud with UFC dating back to her exit from the promotion last year, it’s unknown if that has anything to do with her comments about Ferguson and UFC 249’s cancellation. She did mention the fact that Bellator MMA offers a “change in culture” so maybe Cyborg is taking an extra dig at UFC in addition to showing some love for Ferguson.
At the end of the day, UFC and company had no choice but to postpone all upcoming events. The promotion did everything it possibly could to keep UFC 249 on schedule — even hinting at a potential “Fight Island” — but the decision was ultimately taken out of their hands.
What do you think, Maniacs? Was Tony Ferguson mistreated during this entire UFC 249 ordeal?
Lets hear it.