Earlier this week the UFC cancelled their upcoming three events due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they initially left the door open for UFC 249 to take place on April 18, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. While there were optimistic hopes from UFC President Dana White about the event, he did also acknowledge that his hope was that would fight would happen, even if they had to move the location. Now it appears because of a decision by the NYSAC, the UFC will need to find a new location for the fight.
As first reported in the New York Times, the New York State Athletic Commission shut down any plans for UFC 249 to take place in New York. The NYSAC released a statement to The New York Times explaining their decision during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in line with recent guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and New York State, the New York State Athletic Commission informed the UFC that UFC 249 cannot be held in NY.”
Following UFC Brasilia this past weekend, UFC President Dana White joined SportsCenter to discuss the future events of the UFC, and reassure fans and everyone alike that the scheduled UFC 249 main event, a lightweight title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and contender Tony Ferguson would take place no matter what.
White told SportsCenter that there was a possibility that the fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson could even happen in another country if needed. This is the UFC’s fifth attempt to book a fight between both fighters, so it has become evident that despite the current worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, Dana White is set on making this fight happen.
On Tuesday, Nurmagomedov was on an Instagram video with his manager Ali Abdelaziz and said that he expects Dana White to announce a new location for UFC 249 in the coming days.
As the NYSAC and many other athletic commissions are implementing rules and restrictions that have postponed combat sporting events, there still seems to be a chance that Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson will happen in April.