California Tribal Land To Reportedly Be The Home Of UFC 249
One UFC President Dana White announced that a secret location would be the destination for UFC 249, it was only a matter of time before the secret came out. A few days later, it appears we have our destination for the event on April 18.
Following an initial report by Jeff Sherwood, the founder of Sherdog.com, the New York Times stated that UFC 249 will be taking place inside Tachi Palace, a Native American casino in Lemoore, California. Sherwood’s report went on to say that there will be four other events at the venue. No comment has been given by the UFC as of this moment.
After keeping it a secret from the media and fans, White told TMZ Sports that the UFC will continue to host events, no matter what. This comes after the main event was changed, as Khabib Nurmagomedov backed out of his fight against Tony Ferguson following the lack of information on the event, and the idea to be as safe as possible. The promotion has already had to postpone three events due to the coronavirus, and Dana has been adamant it will host UFC 249 specifically.
“I locked this venue (that will host UFC 249) for two months. I have this venue… and we’re setting up shop here,” White stated. “We’re going to be pumping out fights every week. I’m also a day or two away from securing a private island. I have a private island that I’ve secured. We’re getting the infrastructural put in now, so I’m going to start doing the international fights, too, with the international fighters.
Tachi Palace is not unfamiliar with combat sports, as a number of events have been held there over the years. One of the top reasons the location would be the perfect spot for the UFC is the fact that tribal land does not adhere to the California commissions rulings. That includes the banning of combat sports that was adopted by the Nevada and the New York Commission’s. This also comes after the Association Of Ringside Physicians called for the suspension of all combat sports indefinitely.
Due to the fact that the commissions will not recognize UFC 249, there will be no doctors or judges associated with a legitimate brand. White will be using his own form of talent, with multiple doctors on hand to help out athletes. It is a move that continues to be questioned by commissions all over. In fact, the event would be an un-sanctioned one, according to MMA Junkie.
“The commission echoes the guidance of California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Department of Public Health, local health officials, and the recommendations of the Association of Ringside Physicians regarding the cancellation of events where people may be at risk of contracting Covid-19 and encourages the industry to do the same,” the California Athletic Commission stated to the New York Times. “The commission will not participate in the U.F.C. event on April 18, regardless of the event location.”
As of this moment, UFC 249 will be going on as planned. The main event will be Tony Ferguson v. Justin Gaethje for the UFC interim Lightweight Title. The full card has also been released, with a number of fighters appearing from previously-cancelled cards. The main card will air on ESPN+ PPV.