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Rachael Price April 9, 2020 4 min read
Dana White Confirms UFC 249 on Track, Location Rumors Swirl
UFC boss Dana White has confirmed that UFC 249 is on track as rumors about the location of the event continue to swirl and Tachi Palace Resort and Casino tipped as the likely venue according to Jeff Sherwood.
UFC 249 to Take Place at Undisclosed Location, Everything on Track
The UFC 249 pay-per-view event is happening under the patronage of Dana White, a man who enjoys a good business opportunity, and more so at a time when all sports has been put on halt and cameras will be pointing to the few still ongoing competitions. White even promises the UFC 249 to serve as a stepping-stone for weekly fighting action after April 18.
Not all fights are going as planned, but Dana White is still determined to press on. The original fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson had to be cancelled for the fifth time, after Nurmagomedov was stranded in Dagestan following the world-wide restrictions on travelling.
Yet, White has rallied magnificently, excited to throw Justin Gaethje, another favorite, into the hexagon and the event is now pressing on as expected with the date settled for April 18. The winner of the scrap will face Nurmagomedov in August or as early as the coronavirus pandemic clears and global traveling restrictions are lifted and, of course, the UFC is able to build a proper hype for the event as is White’s custom.
However, not everyone has agreed to participate in the upcoming bout. Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade won’t attend, mostly at the behest of Namajunas who had withdrawn from the event, sources said.
With the castling happening in the backdrop, White didn’t miss a chance to emphasize on the difficulty of the task at hand, describing it as the hardest thing the UFC has done, but yet one he expects to go swimmingly all the same.
Where Is UFC 249 Taking Place After All?
Dana White has been cryptic about the event’s next location. On Tuesday, The New York Times ran an article confirming that White had decided to sit on the information about the UFC’s next location, although rumors have swirled that Tachi Palace Resort and Casino, California would host the card, as per information collaborated by Sherdog founder Jeff Sherwood in a tweet.
The resort wouldn’t be a far-fetched choice for a venue to hold an event at with the place previously hosting the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) between 2001 and 2010. Previously, UFC 249 was scheduled to take place in New York, but the heavy virus toll of infected people dissuaded the organization, looking for an alternative instead.
Taking All Precautions to Avoid COVID-19 Spread
The UFC is not taking the threat of potential contamination with the coronavirus lightly. The organization will make sure to test all fighters as well as corner people. Even though there is no official confirmation whether staff members will be tested, this seems like the most logical thing to do in light of the seriousness of the situation. Speaking to ESPN, White said that the organization would “go above and beyond to keep everyone safe.”
White assured that all athletes will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs and regular protocol would not be overlooked in any way. This was confirmed by USADA head of communications, Adam Woullard, confirmed that the organization will run the necessary doping control checks to ensure the fairness of the fight.
Even with these precautions in place, the event still lies outside traditional sports jurisdiction as the UFC self-regulates and has done so all around the world. Yet, the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) might be involved on this occasion.
ABC president Brian Dunn confirmed that the UFC had agreed to increase medical presence at the undisclosed venue.