Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje to headline UFC 249 fight card from undisclosed location

Dana White has been encouraging that the UFC 249 combat card would even now be happening to us dwell on Saturday, April 18, despite the increasing danger of the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down much of the sports activities and leisure globe. White has remitted on that promise since the UFC president published on Twitter on Monday that not only will the card still run as intent, but it will be headlined by an interim lightweight championship combat in between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.

UFC 249 was fundamentally slated to characteristic Ferguson stimulating undisputed light-weight winner Khabib Nurmagomedov in a matchup 5 many years in the earning at Barclays Middle in Brooklyn. These ideas were being halted, nevertheless, as Nurmagomedov flew back again homeward to Russia to be with his spouse and children amid pandemic, leaving his coaching camp in San Jose, California adhering to as nations about the planet tightened borders on journey.

With huge collection constraints in the spot throughout the United States — and the life — the spot of the closed-doors party has been a person of the most important mysteries relating to White’s insistence that “the exhibit will have to go on.” When White tweeted out the expression, his only hint of a locale was no hint at all, expressing the recreation would materialize “somewhere on Earth” and air on ESPN+ shell out-for every-see. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani formerly claimed the UFC was hunting to keep the event someplace on the west coastline of the U.S.

Gaethje is driving a a few-combat profitable streak, with all three victories coming by knockout in the very first round. He has been positioned as one of the leading contenders for the lightweight title but has been driving Ferguson and Conor McGregor in the UFC’s options. White has expressed irritation with Gaethje for turning down other fights he felt would jeopardize his place in the division. With Nurmagomedov out and McGregor not in the photograph as he urges his Irish countrymen to sustain social distancing, he has backdoored his way to a title shot in the most exceptional problem in UFC background.

Ferguson has now been matched with Nurmagomedov 5 situations only to see the bout fall by means of each time. All through that time, “El Cucuy” has long gone on a 12-combat winning streak to position himself firmly as the No. 2 lightweight on the planet. He formerly received the interim crown in a bout with Kevin Lee in Oct 2017. He was then stripped of that title after struggling a freak knee harm the week ahead of he was scheduled to face Nurmagomedov for the fourth time in 2018.

Nurmagomedov’s return to Russia irked Ferguson, main him to assert the champ was working from him. Rather than hold out on the sidelines for his opportunity — which might not occur until considerably later in the yr with Nurmagomedov’s normal layoff throughout Ramadan — he accepted the bout with Gaethje to generate a title belt.

It is unclear what the relaxation of the battle card will seem like. Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade II was envisioned to consider put as the co-key function. Furthermore, Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Stephens as a highlighted bout. But with so much journey up in the air and lots of fights canceled around the past fews weeks that could be rebooked, everything is feasible at this place for a battle card scheduled to happen in 12 days.