Dana White and the UFC will go ahead with the UFC 249 card despite the coronavirus pandemic. The event will go down at the Tachi Palace Casino on tribal land in California on April 18.
Given the current global health crisis, the UFC will promote this event and any future pandemic-era shows while adhering to a list of important precautions. Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports obtained those precautions, and Bloody Elbow converted them into a nice, reader-friendly list.
See this list below:
- Only UFC and venue staff will be allowed inside the resort, and everyone will be subjected to “advanced” medical screening.
- The number of doctors typically working UFC events will be doubled, and there will be a “level 1 trauma center” available during fight nights for those that will need medical attention after their bouts.
- Treadmills and portable saunas will be put in fighters’ rooms, and an outdoor running track will be built in the resort so fighters can still train and cut weight during fight week.
- The event is closed off to fans, but a “small number” of media will still be allowed to attend the show.
- Housekeeping staff won’t be given access to rooms once a fighter has checked in. Baskets will be available outside their rooms for towels and other amenities they may need replaced.
- UFC commentators will “likely” be in the same room, but “not directly against the Octagon.”
- Social distancing will still be implemented. They will make sure there won’t be more than 10 people in the same room.
UFC 249 will be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, who has replaced the undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on less than two weeks’ notice. Other highlights of the card include a strawweight rematch between former champions Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade, and a heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/8/2020.