Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White may have actually pulled off UFC 249 later this month from inside Tachi Palace Resort Casino in Lemoore, Calif., but California Governor Gavin Newsom made a phone call that led to Disney and ESPN putting an end to UFC’s admirable, yet highly controversial, effort to stage the April 18th event.
White was overcoming everything being thrown his way as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, but he couldn’t work his way around the California Governor and a company in ESPN that has brought UFC to an entirely new level since 2019. The partnership between UFC and ESPN has been too good thus far to let a few months of postponed fights get in the way, which is why White conceded and UFC 249 was pulled off the schedule, along with all upcoming UFC cards at this time.
The entire UFC 249 saga has been entertaining to watch, but it has also created a strong divide between people who either believe a MMA event should take place or it shouldn’t during the coronavirus pandemic. While some fighters have shown support for UFC’s efforts, others, such as Jake Shields, have taken frustration out on the man who reportedly started UFC 249’s shutdown with a phone call.
The former UFC fighter and veteran grappler took to Twitter earlier this week to send one simple message to Governor Newsom.
Fuck Gavin Newsom for shutting down the UFC.— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) April 10, 2020
“F-k Gavin Newsom for shutting down the UFC,” wrote Shields via Twitter.
What makes that comment even more scathing is the fact that Shields is a California native and a fighter who is synonymous to the area. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion is even a long-time member of the California-based Cesar Gracie Fight Team, which also includes UFC veterans Nick and Nate Diaz. Shields even attended two in-state colleges.
These past few weeks have certainly been a roller coaster ride for MMA fighters, fans, media members, and even the public saboteurs, so maybe Shields gets a pass for his profanity. Still, it’s been interesting to see how everyone around the sport has been managing the unpredictable chaos. Governor Newsom pulling the plug on UFC 249 was simply the final straw.
Stick with Mania for more coverage on UFC’s postponement.