UFC 249 needs a new home. The card, which is scheduled for April 18, will not be going down in Brooklyn, New York as originally planned.
Amid the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State Athletic Commission has officially announced it will not be hosting the card.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in line with recent guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and New York State, the New York State Athletic Commission informed the UFC that UFC 249 cannot be held in NY,” the commission confirmed to MMA Fighting following an initial report from the New York Times.
UFC 249 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between undefeated champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and streaking challenger Tony Ferguson. While the fight will not happen in NYC, UFC President Dana White is adamant it will happen somewhere. Potentially even overseas.
“Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib on April 18 is still on and that will still happen,” White said of UFC 249 on SportsCenter on Monday night.
“We’re going to follow these guidelines not to have more than 10 people in a room, and we’re hoping this all clears up by April,” White added. “This fight’s going to happen. No crowd — whatever it takes. [It’s] probably not even going to be in the United States but this fight’s going to happen.
Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap also commented on the issue, suggesting UFC 249 occur in Dubai.
“Most likely it will be Dubai,” Abdulmanap told RBC this week (via MMA Fighting). “Firstly, it’s easier to fight diseases because of the heat. And I think the Emirates will pay for the UFC fight faster and easier.
Where, if anywhere, do you think UFC 249 will end up happening?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/18/2020.