No fans in the stands.
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White has provided huge update on the promotion’s next pay-per-view event that will feature a titanic clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
The lightweight pair is set to lock horns in the main event of UFC 249 on April 18 in what fans dubbed as the ‘most anticipated fight in UFC history.’
It was scheduled to take place at Barclays Center in New York but with the deadly coronavirus pandemic affecting thousands of lives in the state, the UFC needs to find a new venue for the April card.
While major sports league in the United States like the NBA have postponed its current season, the Nevada-based promotion remains adamant in making the blockbuster UFC 249 fight card happen, with the promotion chief confirming it will be held behind closed doors.
In an Instagram live session with Kevin Iole, White said the UFC 249 PPV event will go ahead but there will be no fans inside the arena, which the outspoken head honcho has yet to disclosed.
“I do (know where it is). But I’m not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event,” he confirmed.
White also added the fight card will feature a full lineup.
“Everybody who is going to be involved in this thing is going to be because they want to be, not because they have to be or they have to do anything.”
“Believe me: We didn’t just start thinking about safety when the coronavirus popped up. Health and safety, these are things that normal businesses that are out there right now don’t necessarily have to think about on a daily basis.”
“Health and safety is something we’ve been doing long before the coronavirus and we’ll be doing it long after the coronavirus is gone. This is just normal (expletive) for us.”
Last week, the UFC has decided to cancel its next three fight night events amid the escalating coronavirus fears.
“We’ve been doing everything possible to stick to our live events schedule because the fighters want to fight, our employees want to work, and the fans want to watch our sport,” White said in a letter addressing his employees.
“We did everything we could to relocate our next three events– London, Columbus, and Portland.”
“But every day, there are new restrictions put in place on travel and large public gatherings that are making it impossible to stay on schedule.”
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson)