UFC 249 is still on schedule but the location will have to change.
On April 18, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to put his gold on the line against Tony Ferguson. The highly anticipated lightweight title fight was going to take place inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. That is no longer the case.
UFC 249 Changing Location Over Coronavirus Fears
New York declared a state of emergency, banning large gatherings of over 500 people. This was done in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Nevada State Athletic Commission has suspended all sporting events, so UFC 249 won’t be moved to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Appearing on ESPN‘s SportsCenter, UFC president Dana White ensured fight fans that all planned UFC events will go on unless there is a “total shutdown” in the United States.
“So, we had possibly a couple different venues for that fight, including Nevada,” White said. “So, now the whole Nevada thing went down, so we’re looking for another venue. I hope by [Sunday morning], I should have two venue options for that fight.
“That fight will happen. It will go on. The fans are all freaking out about that, do not worry. Khabib versus Tony will happen.”
Plenty of eyeballs are on the UFC for their decision to push through with scheduled events. Most of the sporting world is on lockdown during this pandemic. That includes the MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, XFL, and many more sports organizations. Even Bellator canceled an event this past Friday night (March 13).
Last night (March 14), UFC Brasilia took place in an empty arena. The promotion initially planned to go through with UFC London inside the O2 Arena but the situation with the coronavirus got worse in a hurry in the UK. As a result, the March 21 UFC London event will also have to be moved.
Should the UFC just shut down their planned events while the coronavirus pandemic is in effect, or do you agree that the show must go on?