UFC president, Dana White, has revealed that the promotion has confirmed a location to host UFC 249 on April 18th – despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The longtime organisation head-honcho explained how the event – headlined by a fifth scheduled pairing of lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Tony Ferguson will take place behind closed doors.
The April 18th. event will mark the promotion’s first return to schedule following UFC Fight Night Brasília on March 14th. The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused disruption the world over – forcing the UFC to indefinitely postpone events in London, Columbus, and Portland last week. White revealed to Yahoo Sports writer, Kevin Iole, that the promotion had secured a location to host the highly-anticipated event, but didn’t elaborate as to where specifically the Octagon will land in April.
Speaking during an Instagram live session on Monday evening, White detailed how the event would be closed to fans, similarly to their most recent venture to South America. “I do (know where it is),” White said. “But, I’m not ready to tell yet. I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.“
Speculation has been rife as to where the event will place – especially after the tentative plan to feature the card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas was axed. The Nevada State Athletic Commission has issued a suspension on all combat sports in the state as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19. White’s recent confirmation – follows Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to return to Russia to complete the final stages of his training camp.