Dana White Has A Location In Mind For UFC 249
Once again, Dana White is doubling down on the fact that UFC 249, featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, will indeed happen.
How confident? Speaking with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports on Instagram Live, White has a location in mind for the fight.
“I do (know where it is),” White stated. “But I’m not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things… There’s not going to be any fans there, it is going to be a closed event.”
This would be the second time the UFC will hold an event in a closed arena, if it happens. Due to the coronavirus, UFC Brasilia went on inside an empty arena. It has been the only event to happen so far for the UFC, as UFC London, Columbus and Portland all had to be postponed. The former was a mess to get through, as Dana was trying to fly people in from all over, especially after a travel ban.
The one area we can cross off the list regarding locations is the United States. The Nevada Athletic Commission called off all combat sports, while the New York Athletic Commission denied the UFC entry inside the Barclays Center, where the event was supposed to take place on April 18. The CDC has barred people to meet in areas with 10+ people, while various events in the sports world are getting cancelled.
Still, White continues to have hope. He has criticized all those within the media and any fan who doubts him. At one point, a gambling man, White dared anyone to bet against him. The real concern appears to be fighter safety, which has come into question as a result of the coronavirus. Dana assured everyone that the UFC is well prepared for any situation. He also wanted to assure that fighters aren’t competing out of fear, but because they want to fight.
“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 went on to say. “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.
“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.”
In a later reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the location for the event appears to be official, yet not stated as shown above. There will be a full lineup of fighters on an undercard, but it is unknown if the original fighters from UFC 249 will be competing.
Per Dana White (@danawhite), a location for Khabib Nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) vs Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) is "99.9 percent done." Confirms Khabib is back in Russia. I also asked him if it will be a full undercard for UFC 249 or a shortened lineup, he said full lineup.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 24, 2020
Khabib did end up going back to Russia to train, as all American gyms are closed. His father suggested the UFC go to the UAE. Regardless of where they go, if the event happens, Dana does not seem worried.
“Every time we put on an event every weekend there are all kinds of problems. Lots of things happen,” White said. “We figure it out, it’s what we do. That’s the business that we’re in. We’ve been doing it for 20 years, we’re the best at it and we will get this thing worked out. This fight will happen, on that date, on PPV, on ESPN+ and the whole world will get to watch.”