UFC President Dana White has confirmed that then much-anticipated UFC 249 event will go ahead, headlined by an Interim UFC Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
As a way to avoid current restrictions amidst the global crisis, White has told TMZ on Monday that the UFC has secured a private island to host all upcoming events on until further notice:
“I have this venue for two months, and we’re setting up shop here. We’re going to be pumping out fights every week. I’m also a day or two away from securing a private island. I have a private island that I’ve secured. We’re getting the infrastructure put in now, so I’m going to start doing the international fights, too, with the international fighters.”
The UFC also announced yesterday the entire card for the April 19 event. While Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is unable to compete due to travel restrictions in his native Russia, the card now boasts a heavyweight showdown between top contenders Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
The cancellation of the original main event marks the fifth time Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to compete, but White was quick not to point fingers:
“It is not Khabib’s fault. It’s not anybody’s fault. This is not something you can prepare for, plan for or anybody can dream this is possible. Las Vegas is shut down. No casinos are open for a month or maybe more. I never thought I would see that in my lifetime.”