It appears as though finding a host city and venue for UFC 249 remains a very fluid process for promotion head Dana White in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m gonna try and pull off Tony [Ferguson] vs. Khabib [Nurmagomedov] on April 18 and try to get some normalcy back in this country,” White said in an interview on “Safe Distance with Mike Tyson.”
“Every day that I work on this thing, I get another curve ball thrown at me when I wake up. Every time we plan something, it falls apart — I have to re-do it, re-do it. I have four or five locations right now and we’re getting this deal done. And then we’re going to figure out who we can get in, who we can’t, what we can do and we’re going to build a card around it.”
The promotion has not formally announced a spot for UFC 249. In a recent interview with ESPN, White said he had a location “99.9 percent” set. However, the COVID-19 outbreak means that circumstances are constantly changing as governments and health officials work to combat the virus.
White has not confirmed if the promotion will conduct testing ahead of UFC 249. However, heavyweight Francis Ngannou revealed that he was recently tested for coronavirus in hopes of potentially competing at the April 18 event. Ngannou was originally supposed to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC on ESPN 8 in Columbus, Ohio, on March 28 before that card was postponed.
While overall details regarding the card remain scarce, White continues to remain defiant in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Everybody’s running and hiding,” White said. “I’m one of those guys that would rather get out there and find solutions. How do we figure this out? How do we beat this thing? Listen, if you’re somebody that’s a high risk, you should probably stay away and stay quarantined for a while. What happens when flu season comes again next year? What happens then?
“I think that in a year or two, we’re going to look back on this thing and be like, ‘holy s—t, we shut down the whole world for this thing.”
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