After weeks of uncertainty and changes, the UFC is moving forward with their UFC 249 pay-per-view event, and there are quite a few changes to the fight card. After lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov had to withdraw from his matchup against Tony Ferguson, the company moved to put together an interim lightweight title fight against contender Justin Gaethje.
UFC President Dana White made the main event announcement on his Twitter on Monday, signaling that while all other sports are shutdown worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC plans to continue on with their shows. Last month, the promotion made the decision to postpone three of their events, two of which were scheduled for March and one scheduled for April, but White maintained his confidence that he would make UFC 249 happen.
On Monday night, the full card was revealed by Brett Okamoto of ESPN and features one of the postponed main events as Francis Ngannou takes on Jair Rozenstruik.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 7, 2020
Here is the full UFC 249 card:
- Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje (Interim lightweight title fight)
- Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas (strawweight)
- Greg Hardy vs Yorgan de Castro (heavyweight)
- Vicente Luque vs Niko Price (welterweight)
- Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar (featherweight)
- Francis Ngannou vs Jair Rozenstruik (heavyweight)
- Uriah Hall vs Jacare Souza (middleweight)
- Alex Hernandez vs Omar Morales (lightweight)
- Marlon Vera vs Ray Borg (bantamweight)
- Michael Johnson vs Khama Worthy (lightweight)
- Sijara Eubanks vs Sarah Moraes (bantamweight)
- Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey (light heavyweight)
There has been much criticism towards White and the UFC for their willingness and eagerness to put on this event, during a worldwide pandemic which has seen thousands of people die worldwide, restrictions placed on large events, and most of the sports world coming to a halt. White was persistent in making it known that he was going to make this event happen and the full fight card listed above seems to show that he did.
Now, two questions remain, where will be the exact location of this event and will everyone involved in the event be tested for COVID-19 or will there be extra medical precautions taken to ensure everyone’s safety?
UFC 249 is scheduled for April 18 and the main card will be broadcasted on ESPN+ with more details likely to follow.