UFC president Dana White still has faith in champ Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting contender Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, April 28.
White is so confident he’s even revealed he has a new location for the event. Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) was supposed to fight Tony Ferguson (25-3) in a bout billed to take place at the Barclays Center, New York. But COVID-19 safety concerns caused a cancellation, with talks of the event being moved to a behind closed doors venue.
So far, three UFC cards have been cancelled or postponed because of the virus. Yet White seems to be stopping at nothing to get UFC 242 going ahead. The match up has already been postponed multiple times before, and White isn’t prepared to let the lightweight title match up go without a fight.
On Monday, the UFC president confirmed he’d found a new venue in a discussion with Yahoo. But he held his cards so close to his chest, it’s impossible to determine where. All we know for now is it will be an exclusive behind closed doors event.
“I do (know where it is),” White revealed via Instagram Live. “But I’m not ready to tell you yet.”
He did let loose it’d be a closed event, but not even a hint where it might be.
Reception of White’s announcement has been mixed. While some fight fans are just happy to finally see top two 155ers to ever do it scrap, others are resentful they’ll not be able to attend.
Despite all the concern around COVID-19, White’s been clear it’s business at usual inside the UFC. Nobody in attendance will be forced to work. All fighters, trainers, and staff are being allowed the appropriate lee-way they need for their safety.
“Everybody who is going to be involved in this thing is going to be because they want to be, not because they have to be or they have to do anything,” says White. “Health and safety is something we’ve been doing long before the coronavirus and we’ll be doing it long after the coronavirus is gone. This is just normal (expletive) for us.”
White recently revealed he’s expecting a full bill of fights at UFC 249. So rest easy UFC fans – we’re about to witness something special.