UFC 249 was originally scheduled to take place inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. That was before the coronavirus became a pandemic. Executive orders, athletic commission suspensions, and CDC guidelines have forced the UFC to postpone three events. So far, UFC 249 isn’t one of them.
Ali Abdelaziz Heaps Praise For Decision To Go On With UFC 249
UFC president Dana White has fired back at those who are criticizing him for planning to hold UFC 249 in a new location despite the pandemic. Speaking to MMAFighting.com‘s Damon Martin, Abdelaziz said he sides with White.
“I think the UFC or any other promotion who has fighters under contract, they have to find a solution,” Abdelaziz said. “Because these guys, the fighters, are independent contractors. They do not get a salary. Some of these guys make $10k and $10k, $12k and $12k, $15k and $15k and they live paycheck to paycheck. This is how they make money and this has been going on for 20 years.
“For you as a media member to criticize or a coach or a fighter, whoever you are, if you’re a fighter and don’t want to fight, that’s fine. Don’t fight. If the UFC is willing and Dana White is willing to put his reputation and money and getting potentially f*cking sued, put that on the line and put on a fight and the fighters are willing to fight, I don’t think anybody has the f*cking right to tell them not to put on the fight.”
The main event lightweight title bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is still intact. White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that some fights will have to be replaced. While he didn’t mention what those fights were, he did reveal that Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik could be moved to the card.