While UFC 249 is now history, the fighters who stepped up to try and make that card happen will be compensated. That’s according to UFC President Dana White, who discussed the matter with ESPN.
“One other thing I really want to point out is: All of my fighters that are under contract with me, I want them to feel safe,” White said (transcription via MMA Junkie). “Take time with your families and enjoy this time. Don’t worry about the financial part of this. You’re going to get the fights on your contract and I’m going to make things right with the people who were willing to step up and fight next weekend on April 18.”
Of course, April 18 was the anticipated date of UFC 249, originally scheduled for Brooklyn, NY. From there, the show was rumored to move overseas before landing back stateside, at the Taichi Palace Casino in California. Ultimately, however, that also fall through, and all UFC events have been put on ice for the foreseeable future.
There’s good news, however. White continues to insist there will be no layoffs at the UFC.
“I’m going to take care of as many people as I possibly can and do whatever it takes to make all of these guys feel comfortable,” White stated. “All of my employees – nobody is getting laid off at the UFC. Everybody is good. We will be the first sport back. ‘Fight Island’ is real. It’s a real thing. The infrastructure is being built right now and that’s really going to happen. It will be on ESPN.”
Fight Island is a reference to White’s idea of leasing a private island to host events on. When and if it takes place remains to be seen.
UFC 249 was originally set to feature lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on Tony Ferguson. With Nurmagomedov returning to Russia during the coronavirus pandemic, a new main event featuring Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje was announced, just days prior to the card falling through.