UFC 249 fight card, date, rumors: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje for interim lightweight title headlines
With Khabib Nurmagomedov forced to pull out, Ferguson will now be taking on the surging Gaethje
The fifth time was not the charm, after all. Once again, the UFC's attempt to book a fight between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top contender Tony Ferguson fell apart, this time as the result of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. UFC president Dana White insisted the event would proceed, however, and the full card was quickly revealed on Monday, April 6
In the main event, Ferguson will still get a shot at lightweight gold, taking on another highly-ranked contender in Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. While Ferguson was already in the process of training for his fight with Nurmagomedov, Gaethje is taking the short-notice fight after the champion Nurmagomedov returned to his home country of Russia as the UFC had not notified him of specifics of the location for the event. He was eventually unable to travel back to the United States to compete on the card as Russia closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hours after the announcement of the Ferguson-Gaethje main event, the UFC quickly revealed the entire 12-fight card. While we know the full fight card, which includes a highly-anticipated women's strawweight rematch and a monumental heavyweight showdown, the new location for UFC 249 — originally slated to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — is still unknown.
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The action all goes down on Saturday, April 18 and will air on ESPN+ pay-per-view. The card as it currently stands is as follows:
UFC 249 fight card
- Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje — Interim lightweight championship
- Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas — Women's strawweights
- Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro — Heavyweights
- Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price — Welterweights
- Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar — Featherweights
- Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik — Heavyweights
- Uriah Hall vs. Ronaldo Souza — Middleweights
- Alexander Hernandez vs. Omar Morales — Lightweights
- Marlon Vera vs. Ray Borg — Bantamweights
- Michael Johnson vs. Khama Worthy — Lightweights
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras — Women's bantamweights
- Sam Alvey vs. Ryan Spann — Light heavyweights