The coronavirus has wreaked havoc in the MMA community and one of the events affected by the pandemic was next month's UFC 249 card.
However, it would appear that the UFC 249 event will go on as planned, as UFC President Dana White says a location has been found to hold the card, but that exact location hasn’t been made public at this time.
“I do (know where it is),” White said to Kevin Iole on Instagram Live (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “But I’m not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things. … There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.”
Brooklyn, New York was originally set to be the home of UFC 249, but then the governor of New York banned all mass gatherings due to the coronavirus, which prompted the UFC to move the card.
White also says that anybody who works for the promotion will not have to work the UFC 249 event if they feel unsafe doing so.
“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,” White said. “Believe me: We didn’t just start thinking about safety when the coronavirus popped up. Health and safety, these are things that normal businesses that are out there right now don’t necessarily have to think about on a daily basis. Healthy 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.”
Brett Okamoto of ESPN also spoke with White, who revealed that the UFC 249 event is going to be a full card, not a shortened card.
UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, April 18 from the location to be revealed with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.