UFC was among the last sports entities to suspend operations amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but they also figure to be among the first to return. Dana White was insistent upon announcing the postponement of three upcoming fights, through the second weekend in April, that UFC 249, headlined by the bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, would still take place on April 18.
White said fans were likely to not be present, but the fight would go on somewhere other than the Barclays Center and likely outside the United States. Now, it appears as though a location for the event has been found, with White telling Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star that he has a location but is “not ready to tell you yet.”
JUST IN: Dana White has revealed he’s secured a location for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s #UFC 249 bout with Tony Ferguson.
“I do (know where it is). But I’m not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.” pic.twitter.com/dOYnZyb9th
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) March 23, 2020
The UFC president also confirms it will be a closed event, with the assumption that it will still be broadcast on ESPN+ PPV, although there’s no official announcement on that end either. There are surely logistical issues to work through in terms of how to broadcast something from outside the country right now in terms of getting workers there to set up the feed and run cameras or finding contractors wherever the fight is to do those jobs (and do them safely).
Whether it’s the smart or right choice for the health and well-being of all involved in putting on the production, it seems as though we are going to have a fight night on April 18. Where that is, we’ll just have to stay tuned.