Fan favorite Justin Gaethje will now fight Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title. It’s official.
Current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov cannot leave Russia due to COVID-19 precautions. It’s a move that’s caused uproar among the MMA community, with this being the fifth cancellation of the long awaited match up between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson.
The original bout was scheduled way back in 2015, but after weight cutting issues and freak press accidents, it’s suffered a half-decade curse.
Earlier tonight president Dana White announced the switch up was official. Hard hitting Justin Gaethje will now step in to challenge Ferguson at UFC 249 in a hard, tooth and nail battle for the interim lightweight belt. It’s got fireworks written all over it.
Both fighters are currently riding win streaks, with #4 ranked Gaethje besting his last 4 opponents, and the #1 contender Ferguson tripling that feat with 12 back to back victories. The UFC lightweight division is arguably their most savagely deep weight class, with a high percentage of the promotions top talent at 155 lbs.
Ferguson and Gaethje are two of the most exciting, high pressure athletes on the UFC roster too. Expect action from the opening bell to the finish.
White’s assured fans that ESPN will broadcast UFC 249 live on Saturday April 18. But, the president shows no sign of revealing exactly where the card will take place. All he promises is it’ll be stacked with great fights, held behind closed doors, and 100% going ahead.
It’s all mixed emotions among the MMA community. Yet, it’s clear the UFC are doing everything in their power to provide fight fans with the one thing they crave – exciting bouts. Both headliners are renowned for throwing fireworks, so it’s looking to be barn burning main event.
Let us know your predictions in the comments!