The UFC is reportedly very close to locking down a location for UFC 249.
On Monday morning ESPN reported that the promotion is closing in on a potential location for the event. ESPN’s report didn’t reveal that location, but pointed to the West Coast of the United States, and specified that “tribal land” — which is outside the jurisdiction of state athletic commissions — is a likely possibility.
ESPN’s report added that this potential UFC 249 location could also serve as the location for several other postponed cards, such as the UFC’s planned stops in London, Columbus and Portland, all of which were delayed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The promotion reportedly plans to get very busy in this mystery location to make up for lost time.
UFC 249 was initially expected to be headlined by a long-awaited lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made it impossible for Nurmagomedov to safely leave Russia, meaning he will not be able to fight Ferguson on the card as planned.
In the wake of this shake-up, Ferguson has been linked to a short-notice UFC 249 fight with Justin Gaethje, but the bout is still not official. That said, Ferguson seems open to a replacement opponent.
“It doesn’t matter who we have. We’re gonna try to make this thing go,” Ferguson told ESPN about potentially fighting a new opponent at UFC 249. “At least some of the people in the world have a little bit of hope. The guys that are really doing it are the doctors and the nurses and the people taking care of everybody. If we can do our little bit of part to try and make something happen, I’m down with that.”
UFC President Dana White recently suggested that UFC 249 could wind up being an amalgamation of bouts originally scheduled for the card, and bouts that were originally scheduled for others cards, such as the events in Portland, London and Columbus.
Whatever the case, we should have some clarity today, as White promised to announce the entire UFC 249 lineup on Monday.
Where do you think UFC 249 will end up happening?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/6/2020.