Dana White has a location. He just needs to send it.
The UFC president has long maintained that the highly-anticipated Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight scheduled for UFC 249 on April 18 would still go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic.
And as of Monday, there is a location for the fight. However, White isn’t ready to reveal details just yet.
He did confirm, however, that it would take place behind closed doors with no fans in attendance:
“I do (know where it is),” White said in an Instagram Live session with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole (via 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.”
With Nurmagomedov recently returning to Russia to complete his training camp, fans have speculated that the fight could take place there. The United Arab Emirates — as suggested by Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap — is also an option.
While most combat sports fans will be happy that a dream fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson could finally happen next month, there will be natural criticism coming White’s way at trying to book the fight amid the current global situation.
But as far as the UFC head honcho is concerned, anyone involved at UFC 249 is doing so on their own volition. And health and safety is something the promotion had covered way before the coronavirus:
“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.”
White confirmed to ESPN that it will be a full line-up of the UFC 249 card and that the event is 99.9 percent done.
What do you make of White’s news?