John McCarthy on UFC 249 cancelation: You can’t go against government

Former mixed martial arts referee John McCarthy stated he wasn’t surprised at all when Dana White announced the cancelation of UFC 249.

The event was set to take place on April 18 but got cancelled last week due to the coronavirus outbreak. While other sports leagues had postponed or canceled their events, UFC president Dana White remained resolute in resuming the fight schedule. That, however, all came to an end when he was told by the higher-ups at ESPN and Disney to stand down.

Later it became clear that the governor of California was the one responsible for the cancelation of the event and according to “Big” John, there’s nothing Dana White could do.

“You can win battles and lose wars,” McCarthy said on the latest edition of his podcast.

“And that’s what in the end has happened here is politically, you need to understand, when you’re going against the government, you’re probably going to go against something that in the end is probably going to cause you a problem. And if you think that you could beat that? We couldn’t beat it in the past. It was a lot of problems and it caused problems for the UFC in the past, caused problems for the sport, and you start getting senators, you’re getting governors coming down on you?

“There’s a lot of power there, man. And eventually, Disney and ESPN said this is bad publicity, this is bad for us, we’re going to shut it down. It wasn’t Dana that shut it down, it was his bosses that basically shut it down.”


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