As mentioned yesterday – it seems to be full-steam ahead and business as usual for the UFC, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The promotion will continue with their UFC 249 event on April 18th. and have confirmed a card featuring twelve bouts.
Yesterday, promotion president, Dana White, confirmed a new headliner featuring former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson, and three-fight streaker, Justin Gaethje – with interim gold up for grabs. Gaethje replaces fellow Dominance MMA client, Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event – as the undisputed champion remains in his native Dagestan, stranded.
With a few alterations made to the original card – the organisation have drafted in fighters primarily based in the United States for this event, with a location on the west coast zoned in on as a likely host. Remaining on the card from it’s original finalisation is a strawweight rematch between former champions, Jéssica Andrade, and Rose Namajunas. In a featherweight pairing, Jeremy Stephens, and Calvin Kattar retain their slot.
Monday night also brought the confirmation of a potential heavyweight title-eliminator between Francis Ngannou, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, in a rescheduled bout from their UFC Fight Night Columbus headliner. The controversial, Greg Hardy also features as he clashes with Yorgan de Castro.
Making up the last of main card action, we get a welterweight rematch between the always exciting pair of Vicente Luque and Niko Price. Former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Jacaré Souza also features as he makes a return from a brief excursion at light heavyweight, to take on Uriah Hall.
Alexander Hernandez was originally set to meet with Islam Makhachev on the card, but the Russian, similarly to compatriot Khabib, has been replaced. Hernandez will now tackle Omar Morales. In a bantamweight affair, Marlon Vera takes on former flyweight title challenger, Ray Borg. Vera was originally slated to take on former bantamweight title hopeful, Eddie Wineland at UFC Fight Night Columbus.
The veteran striker, Michael Johnson makes his return to 155-pounds, as he meets with the upstart prospect, Khama Worthy. Sijara Eubanks also retains her slot on the card as she takes on Sarah Moras. Opening up the event is a clash between Ryan Spann and Sam Alvey at light heavyweight. Alvey was originally scheduled to meet with Khalil Rountree Jr.