UFC 249 Taking Place in Florida & Fight Island: Fact or Fantasy?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced they’ll be returning to action on May 9th for UFC 249, and although it hasn’t been officially announced, sources suggest the event will take place in Florida. With a fight island currently under construction and the entire sporting world on hold, it could be an exciting month of May for fight fans.
Earlier this month, fans of the UFC were hit with a double-whammy of bad news. Firstly, Khabib Nurmagomedov had to withdraw from his highly anticipated bout against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18th. And then, after UFC Dana White managed to find a last-minute replacement in Justin Gaethje; the entire event itself was canceled a week after Khabib’s withdrawal anyway.
The pressure was put on Dana White by broadcast partners ESPN & Disney; after Governor Gavin Newsome made a complaint the event was eventually axed.
“This whole thing has been a battle since day one,” White told ESPN. “We’ve been fighting non-stop all day and all night since this pandemic started to put in this event on April 18.
“And today we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN.
“The powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday.”
He added: “And one thing that I’ve said since we started our relationship and partnership with ESPN and it’s been an incredible one. ESPN has been very good to us.”
White spoke about the matter in an Instagram Q&A, saying:
“We have a great relationship – them asking me to stand down, there’s no way I wouldn’t do that.
“The fights are not cancelled; they are just postponed and pushed back.”
You’d think that after the stress Dana White has endured during the process of putting UFC back on television that he’d give up after being told no, but the President of the UFC has no quit.
UFC 249 has new plans
When the April 18th event in Brooklyn was officially canceled, Tony ‘El CuCuy’ Ferguson continued to make weight for a fight that wasn’t happening and proved a huge point.
Well, it looks like the weight cut may have not gone completely to waste, as the UFC has been searching for a new location and have begun booking the same fights from the previously scheduled UFC 249 card for the date of May 9th. And with fights, we can rejoice and reunite with our bookmakers in May, as there will be opportunities to bet, as soon as the odds are live
Sources from multiple knowledgeable people of the promotion have said plans are slated to be taking place in Florida. Anonymity has been requested from said people as the UFC wanted to keep the plans from the public. They also confirmed that fighters have already been asked to fly into Jacksonville before traveling to the undisclosed venue.
The Governor of Florida already has an order in place that approved a list of essential businesses and MMA could easily have been added. The order would give events for “employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public.”