Earlier this week it was revealed by Ariel Helwani that the pre-planned March 2 UFC Saudi Arabia card was postponed until June due to the country being upset about the card being presented to them.
"The target is June," Helwani said on Monday. "I was told the reason for the postponment is because they just want, the powers that be in Saudi Arabia, want a ... how should we put it ... they want a more entertaining fight card."
Now UFC president Dana White is debunking that claim in an interview with Sportsnet ahead of UFC 297.
"Yes, we moved the card and I know there's been a lot of talk about that the card wasn't good enough. We never even proposed the card to them. We didn't tell Saudi Arabia about one fight. So, that's all, can you say 'bullsh*t' up here? It was all bullsh*t. Bullsh*t. We never even proposed a card to them."
Dana White says there will be no title fight at UFC Saudi Arabia
He continued, "What we wanted to do is, every time the UFC puts on an event, we want to blow the doors off the place. We want people to be excited. So it's our first fight ever in Saudi Arabia and a couple of fights that we wanted to line up, they weren't ready to go, so we pushed the card back because we are going to deliver. But, never once, was one fight proposed to Saudi Arabia."
Many fans wondered if the card was moved due to its proximity to the Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou card and the PFL X Bellator champions vs. champions card. Some wondered if the card was being moved so that they could put the lightweight champion Islam Makhachev on it.
We may never know the real reason why it was moved as both sources who have the knowledge tend to hold things close to the vest.
One thing we do know, is that White says there will not be a title fight on the Saudi Arabia card, and it will be just a Fight Night, not a PPV event.