The New York State Athletic Commission announced that they’re forcing the cancellation of UFC 249. This follows after the increasing threat surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic in America. Located in Brooklyn, this event was slated to host a matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. It’s still expected that UFC 249 will take place, with it being reformatted to a new location.
The New York Times broke this story, with the New York State Athletic Commission noting that they’re following the recently implement guidelines enforced by the “Center of Disease Control”. This means that UFC 249 cannot be held within the New York State or anywhere else in the United States of America. Dana White will now be forced to engage with other countries that haven’t limited their mass gatherings and sporting venues to find a new location. This will be a drastically challenging task to accomplish for the UFC President.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is the undefeated champion of the UFC, with his most notable rival being Tony Ferguson. They’ve planned to fight two previous times; with them both being cancelled for personal reasons. It was promised that a 3rd cancellation wouldn’t occur under any conditions, with Dana White trying to guarantee those conditions are met. The UFC President has until April 18th to locate a new venue without postponing this Pay-Per-View Event. Most sporting analysts have collectively agreed the battle will now happen overseas.
Dana White expressed to ESPN and SportsCenter Reporters that they’re following the implemented guidelines, that there aren’t more than ten people per room. He noted that UFC Investors and Executives hope that the Covid-19 Pandemic will be defeated by April 18th. This is very unlikely and will prompt the fight to be located overseas or held without an audience.
It’d mark the 1st title fight in the UFC without a live audience, that is unless conditional factors can be met with organizers in Dubai. This would allow Khabib to gain his middle eastern champion fight for a second time. It should be mentioned that Dubai has had minimal exposure to coronavirus. Advanced medical facilities located in the region have ensured that infected patients are quickly isolated and cured of their symptoms.