A prominent U.S. Senator is calling for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to reconsider holding its upcoming UFC 249 card.
On Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California sent out a press release requesting the UFC to delay UFC 249. The event is scheduled to take place on April 18, and reports are indicating that it will be held at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, Calif. Yahoo Sports was first to report on the release.
Feinstein’s statement reads as follows:
“I’m concerned by reports that Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in California, in defiance of the state’s shelter-in-place order. This event would involve dozens of individuals flying to California and driving to a casino for a purpose no one can honestly claim is essential.
“I understand this event is scheduled to take place on tribal land and therefore is not subject to state law. However, at best this event ties up medical resources and sends a message that shelter-in-place orders can be flouted. At worst, participants and support staff could carry the virus back to their home communities and increase its spread.
“I call on Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Tachi-Yokut Tribe to reconsider this event and delay it until a later date. We have to be responsible and mindful of all local, state and federal public health guidelines. Going ahead with this event is not the right move.”
The Tachi Palace Casino is located on land belonging to the Tachi-Yokut Tribe. As such, the UFC would not be subjected to the shelter-in-place order issued from the state to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It will likewise allow the organization to circumvent the ban levied by the California State Athletic Commission on all combat sports events, which will be in effect through May. Additionally, the Tachi Palace Casino closed on March 20.
UFC 249 is still slated to go down on April 18, where it will be headlined by an interim lightweight championship tilt between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. The event will air on pay-per-view, with prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
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