As New York’s total COVID-19 cases soar above the rest of the United States, the move has been made to (unsurprisingly) pull the plug on the April 18th UFC 249 pay-per-view.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in line with recent guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and New York State, the New York State Athletic Commission informed the UFC that UFC 249 cannot be held in NY.,” an official statement to MMA Fighting read.
UFC 249 is set to be headlined by the lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, a matchup that’s been booked and cancelled four times previously under a wide variety of injury-related circumstances. On this occasion, “global pandemic” may be what causes a fifth cancellation.
However, UFC president Dana White is adamant that Khabib vs. Ferguson (and the rest of the card) will happen. White did admit on Monday that it’s “probably not even going to be in the United States.”
A lot can change over the course of a month but even that seems ambitious, as many major countries have closed their borders for non-essential travel. Something tells me that “cage fighting” does not qualify as essential travel.
We’ll soon find out what the UFC has conjured up as an alternative plan to keep this event alive.