The UFC has postponed its April 18 UFC 249 pay-per-view event on the advice of its television partner ESPN, according to both parties.
The mixed martial arts organization had planned to stage the event at a California location, but decided to postpone the event and all future UFC shows for the foreseeable future.
“While the organization was fully prepared to proceed with UFC 249, ESPN has requested the postponement of the event and subsequent bouts until further notice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the UFC said in a statement Thursday.
ESPN released its own statement, saying that the network “has been in constant contact with the UFC regarding UFC 249. Nobody wants to see sports return more than we do, but we didn’t feel this was the right time for a variety of reasons. ESPN expressed its concerns to the UFC and they understood.”
The decision comes less than a week after the WWE held its two-day WrestleMania 36 PPV event on April 11-12 at its Orlando facilities.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.