UFC president Dana White has responded to reports of the UFC 249 location being unveiled.
Jeff Sherwood first reported that UFC 249 will be taking place inside the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in California. Since the event will be run in tribal land, UFC 249 is exempt from California’s stay-at-home order. On top of that, the UFC will be able to avoid adhering to the California State Athletic Commission.
Dana White Responds To UFC 249 Location Report
White appeared on ESPN’s Get Up! show. During the interview, the UFC boss remained mum when addressing the report (via BJPenn.com).
“We’re going to be live from ESPN,” White told ESPN Get Up! host Mike Greenberg when asked where UFC 249 will occur. “It doesn’t matter where it is. First of all, no fans can come. You can’t come to the fight, you can’t buy a ticket. The only place to watch this in the United States is on ESPN and that’s the only thing that matters.
“I know that several news sources are putting out places where they think it is,” White added, referencing the New York Times report. “ESPN is where it is. That’s all you need to know.”
UFC 249 has undergone changes past the location. The new main event for the card will be an interim UFC lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Khabib Nurmagomedov was initially set to put his 155-pound gold on the line against Ferguson but he is still in Russia due to a travel ban.
Two heavyweight bouts have also been added to the UFC 249 card. Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro will be held on April 18. The initial co-main event between Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas in a rematch will remain on the card.
It’s clear why UFC 249 has undergone several changes. The COVID-19 crisis continues to leave its mark on the world and sports organizations are no exception. It’s caused Dana White to secure a private island for future UFC events.