UFC 249 fight card, location rumors, date: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje set for interim lightweight title
With Khabib Nurmagomedov forced to pull out, Ferguson will now be taking on the surging Gaethje
As fate would have it, the fifth time was not the charm. Once again, the UFC's attempt to book a fight featuring lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and top contender Tony Ferguson fell apart, this time as the result of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Even still, 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 on Monday night, the UFC quickly revealed the entire 12-fight card, which includes a monster heavyweight showdown as well as a highly-anticipated rematch in the women's strawweight division. The location of the event — originally slated to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — has remained a mystery, but that is slowly changing. Tuesday night, the New York Times reported that UFC 249 will take place at the Tachi Palace Resort and Casino in Lemoore, California. News of the Tachi Palace serving as the site was first reported by Jeff Sherwood of Sherdog, and it will presumably host UFC events within the United States for the foreseeable future.
Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
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