After weeks of speculation, cancellation, and some reruns of past shows, the drought with no mixed martial arts fights is nearly over—which has to be a cause for celebration for fans of the sport.
Monday, a series of announcements was made to confirm that the scheduled Apr. 18 UFC 249 event is now a go, which will put an end to nearly a full month of cancellations necessitated by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In so doing, the UFC will become the first American sports organization to return to live action.
Although UFC 249 will progress as scheduled one week from this Saturday night, its host venue and host city are each still unknown to the public.
The UFC has not yet disclosed where its next pay-per-view will originate from, a piece of information which is known only by those within the promotion.
All UFC President Dana White has officially said is that the card will emanate from “somewhere on Earth.”
UFC 249 will specifically be held on the West Coast of the United States, and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported Sunday night that the venue at which UFC 249 is being held will also hold the promotion’s upcoming Fight Night cards over the next few weeks,
As has been known for some time, the originally-scheduled headliner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson for the UFC’s Lightweight championship will not be contested at this show, making the Apr. 18 card the fifth such cancellation between the two.
In its place is an Interim Lightweight title fight between Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, which was officially finalized late Monday afternoon.
Note: With it being so close to the event itself, we will not do an Armchair First Look for this pairing. Check back next week for a look at this fight.
Other fights on the UFC 249 main card include:
Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas [Strawweight co-main event]
Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan DeCastro [Heavyweight]
Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price [Welterweight]
Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar [Featherweight]
Live sports are back.
It starts with the UFC.
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