On Thursday, former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas announced that she was pulling out of UFC 249. Namajunas was scheduled to fight Jessica Andrade on April 18 in the co-main event.
Earlier today, UFC president Dana White announced that UFC 249 along with other events has been postponed indefinitely. The fight was supposed to take place at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California.
On Thursday, Namajunas’ manager Brian Butler revealed that two coronavirus related death in her family forced her to pull out of the fight.
Immediate release: @rosenamajunas withdrew from UFC 249 due to 2 deaths in the family related to the Coronavirus. Her hopes are to return to the Octagon as soon as possible but for now we ask for people to respect their privacy during this time.
Namajunas and Andrade fought at UFC 237 in May last year. In this fight, Namajunas was knocked out by Andrade in the second round. Namajunas was dominating the fight early on landing some huge shots, but Andrade weathered the early storm and slammed her to take the victory.
This would have been Namajunas’ first fight since her loss to Andrade. She took the fight after teasing about retiring from the fight game entirely last year.
UFC to postpone its events: Dana White
Speaking to ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto, UFC president Dana White revealed that the top brass at ESPN and Disney made the decision to postpone the fight cards.
UFC President Dana White spoke to Brett Okamoto about #UFC249 no longer taking place on April 18.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 9, 2020
“I told you this whole thing has been a battle since Day 1,” White said. “We’ve been fighting non-stop all day and all night since this pandemic started to put on this event on April 18. And today we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN. One thing that I’ve said since we started our relationship and partnership with ESPN – and it’s been an incredible one, it’s been an amazing partnership. ESPN has been very, very good to us, and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday.”