Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

22.35 9 Apr 2020


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Rose Namajunas has revealed the tragic circumstances behind her withdrawal from UFC 249. 

The 27-year old was due to face Jessica Andrade in the co-headline fight of the controversial card, which is due to take place on April 18.

It was reported on Wednesday that the former straw-weight champion would withdraw because of "undisclosed reasons".

Representatives for Namajunas have since disclosed that the reason she's pulled out is because two family members had lost their live to coronavirus.

Her agent Brian Butler wrote on Instagram, "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' clash with Andrade was a rematch of their meeting 11-months back that saw the Brazilian take the straw-weight title.

UFC are trying to source a replacement opponent for Andrade.

It's the latest major change to befall the UFC 249 card which is also yet to reveal its venue.

Khabib Nurmagomedov pulled out of his planned lightweight bout with Tony Ferguson due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

The Dagestani fighter's place in the interim title bout has gone instead to Justin Gaethje.

UFC president Dana White is determined for UFC 249 to go ahead, despite COVID-19 shutting down almost all sports across the United States.

The Association of Ringside Physicians have warned against staging events during the crisis.

While this week, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) said they were very concerned by plans to proceed at California's Tachi Palace Casino Resort.

The casino is built on land owned by the Tachi-Yukot Tribe.

ABC warned that if the UFC 249 does go ahead on tribal land then the event will go unsanctioned.

On Thursday night, California Senator Dianne Feinstein strongly condemned plans to stage the card amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Senator Feinstein wrote:

“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.”


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Dana White Jessica Andrade Khabib Nurmagomedov Rose Namajunas Tony Ferguson Ufc 249

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