UFC 249 headliners, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje react to the sudden cancellation of the highly-controversial fight card after Dana White announced it’s off.
It’s been one heck of a week for everyone involved in the making of the UFC 249 fight card, none more so than the headliners themselves — Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. With the news that the card would be held on California tribal lands, then to the events co-main fighter, Rose Namajunas, having to withdraw and finally to the cancellation of the entire card. We are all, fans and media alike, a little tired.
Now, both headlining fighters have voiced their reactions to the decision that UFC president Dana White was ultimately asked to make on Thursday.
Tony Ferguson reacts to UFC 249 cancellation
Ferguson was on the phone with OC Register’s Brian Martin when the news dropped of the UFC 249 cancellation. He had not been notified by the UFC prior to the announcement going public.
“Ohhhhh well. I’m still gonna train,” Ferguson said. “Ummmm … you know what? I’m sure it’s for a good reason. Let’s be real. I gotta keep the faith. I gotta keep this … (expletive) … keep this small circle close, bro, and just keep focusing on what we can control, which is our heart rate and our breathing.”
Ferguson was originally supposed to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title but after Nurmagomedov withdrew due to travel restrictions, Gaethje was put in his place for an interim title fight.
Justin Gaethje reacts to UFC 249 cancellation
Gaethje reacted to the news via his official Instagram account on Friday, here’s what he had to say about his short-lived title shot.
“I really felt a surge of energy and support as this fight was building up from so many [people] across the world, it was very humbling,” he wrote. “I am thankful to represent Safford, AZ and my great friends and family. I’m going to be working hard to be ready next time the opportunity arises. Let’s get through this fight we are all facing right now by having a positive impact on our immediate surroundings (family, neighbor, community) Thank you!! The boss [Dana White] is someone I am proud to do business with.”
There is no word on when the UFC, or any sports, will be able to revive their operations.