UFC 249 confirmed for May 9 be...

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UFC 249 confirmed for May 9 behind closed doors in Jacksonville

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

07:53 24 Apr 2020


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UFC 249 has finally gotten the all-clear to go head on May 9 with a card headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. 

The pair will meet for the interim lightweight championship, with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The card will take place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, and will be the first of three events staged at the Jacksonville, Florida venue inside a week.

UFC 249's original date of April 18 was cancelled in embarrassing circumstances earlier this month.

Company president Dana White had planned to press-on with the card at the Tachi Palace Casino which is based on Native American Land in California.

However, conversations from his superiors at broadcast partners Disney and ESPN forced White into a humiliating climbdown.

This time the UFC have moved to allay fears over contravening 'stay at home' measures currently in place in the state of Florida.

"These events will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance," they say in a press release.

Meanwhile, the Florida State Boxing Commission said health and safety protocols will be in place, "to ensure the safety and well-being of all individuals who are helping to make these events possible."

Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry is only too happy to have the UFC's money flood his city's coffers in a time of need, "The UFC organization is a renowned entertainment brand that’s presented a safe and sensible plan to use this Jacksonville location, and we are thrilled to have our city highlighted nationally."

The complexion of the May 13 and 16 cards were not made known at time of writing.

Starting with the WWE, "professional sports and media production with a national audience" were deemed essential business by Florida Governor Ron De Santis.

White said he "can't wait" to deliver the Jacksonville cards, adding "My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events."

He also told ESPN that his 'Fight Island' concept is a very real one, and that a a still-to-be-announced location and also without fans - would stage international fights from June.

"We really are putting an octagon on the beach", White told ESPN MMA's Instagram Live, "there's going to be training facilities there for people.

"There are hotels, and all of the infrastructure is going to be built to have UFC come and do fights there."


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Dana White Justin Gaethje Mma Tony Ferguson Ufc Ufc 249

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