While most of the sports world remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC is planning to reopen next week.
UFC 249 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 18, at a secret location in the United States, with UFC president Dana White saying only “the location of UFC 249 is ESPN.”
“I locked this venue up for two months,” White said in an interview with TMZ. “I have this venue for two months, I’m setting up shop here. We’re going to be pumping out fights every week.”
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The main event for UFC 249 will feature Tony Ferguson against Justin Gaethje, after Khabib Nurmagomedov had to pull out because he’s unable to travel from Russia.
White revealed he has a plan for that too, by flying fighters from all over the world to a private island.
“I am also a day or two away from securing a private island. I have a private island that I have secured. We’re getting the infrastructure put in now, so I’m going to start doing the international fights too, with international fighters, because I won’t be able to get all of them into the US.
“I have a private island, I’m going to start flying them all onto the private island and doing international fights from there.
“As of April 18, the UFC is back up and running.”
White confirmed that no fans would be attending any upcoming fights, and that he plans on testing everyone involved in the production repeatedly in an effort to ensure everyone remains healthy.
The motivation for UFC is clear. With fans stuck at home with no live sports to watch on television, the ratings would be enormous.
Of course, there are still likely to be logistical problems to overcome, not to mention the moral quandary about staging fights in such an uncertain time.