UFC 249, featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson as the main event, has been closed to the public, UFC President Dana White confirmed Monday.
Ahead of UFC Fight Night 170 on March 14 in Brazil, White made the controversial decision to carry on with the event with only essential staff allowed in the building after the district's governor suspended large gatherings because of COVID-19.
White previously announced he'd spoken with United States President Donald Trump's administration, and it had assured him holding Fight Night 170 and other scheduled events was acceptable.
"I talked to the President and the Vice President of the United States today about this," White said on ESPN March 12 (h/t the New York Post).
At the same time, local and state governments had begun banning large gatherings for at least 30 days to slow the spread of the pandemic.