The UFC has announced that Ferguson and Gaethje will collide for the interim UFC lightweight championship on April 18. The news comes after Khabib Nurmagomedov couldn’t compete later this month due to being stuck in Russia as a result of a travel ban.
UFC president Dana White chimed in on the announcement.
“The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!!!! @TonyFergusonXT vs @Justin_Gaethje is LIVE on @espn+ PPV April 18th for the interim lightweight belt!”
UFC 249 was initially scheduled to take place inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Ferguson was set to challenge Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title. Those plans were derailed when an executive order in New York State limited the gatherings at events over fears of the coronavirus.
Nurmagomedov revealed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that he was told the new location would likely be in Abu Dhabi. “The Eagle” decided to travel to Dubai to ensure he was training under ideal circumstances. Once Dubai was set to enter a lockdown, Nurmagomedov flew out to Russia where he was told a travel ban was being put in place.
A new report claims that the UFC brass believes they’re closing in on a new location for UFC 249. The report notes that it’ll likely be on the West Coast of the United States and could be the home for multiple UFC events amid the COVID-19 crisis.
White has been adamant in pulling off the planned April 18 event. He’s also working on getting three postponed events rescheduled. UFC London, UFC Columbus, and UFC Portland had to be postponed as new CDC guidelines made it difficult for the promotion to hold those cards.
Stick with MMA News for the latest details on UFC 249 including the location and updated card.