So it’s take-two for this UFC 249 card. The event, originally scheduled to take place on April 18th. in first, Brooklyn, New York, then Lemoore, California – will now take place on location in Florida. News of the event’s location was initially reported by MMA Fighting writer, Mike Heck.
A source revealed to the outlet that fighters will travel to Jacksonville in ‘The Sunshine State’ before transportation to a still unknown location. Florida has been a viable option to hold the event after UFC president, Dana White, was asked to “stand down” by Disney and ESPN executives following his plans for the Tachi Palace Resort Casino to host the event on April 18th. The event was subsequently postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Governor, approved the continuation of essential business in an ordered issued earlier this month, including professional sports.
“Employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience – including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production – only if the location is closed to the general public.“
In an email, also provided to MMA Fighting, The Florida State Boxing Commission explained how they would sanction and regulate professional sports events, including mixed-martial-arts if guidelines are sufficiently adhered to.
The promotion last visited the state of Florida last October, for UFC Fight Night Tampa, where a strawweight title eliminator between former champion, Joanna Jędrzejczyk and former Invicta FC atomweight champion, Michelle Waterson served as the event headliner.
UFC 249 will take place on May 9th., and is expected to be headlined by an interim lightweight title clash between one-time interim gold-holder, Tony Ferguson and former WSOF lightweight best, Justin Gaethje.