The UFC 249 fight card might feature a different but more stacked line up when it raises its curtain next month.
Despite the uncertainties surrounding the upcoming pay-per-view event, UFC president Dana White assured MMA fans it will happen as scheduled, though it will be held behind closed doors.
In what many dubbed as the ‘most anticipated fight in UFC history,’ Khabib Nurmagomedov faces Tony Ferguson in the main event with the lightweight championship on the line.
Asked about the composition of the fight card, White said it will feature a full line up, with the promotion looking to add a heavyweight clash between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
The heavyweight pair was scheduled to headline UFC Columbus this weekend but the event was already canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a live chat with ESPN on Wednesday, the UFC president said the company is looking to give fans the ‘baddest card’ at UFC 249 next month, which will include the Ngannou vs Rozenstruik fight.
“We’re building a card where people can still maneuver and still get in,” he shared (transcript from MMA Junkie).
“We’re trying to build the baddest card that’s ever been done in the history of the sport.”
“Some of the things are going to work out, and some of the things might not work out. We’re trying to figure out if they don’t, what do we do?”
“Actually, Francis is one of the guys we’re looking at, too. Yes, yes, yes (against Rozenstruik).”
The outspoken head honcho claimed he has a new location for the blockbuster event but he has yet to announce it to the public.
Still The Plan
Ngannou, who is recently tested for COVID-19, shared the development to Submission Radio while highlighting the UFC’s effort to ensure the health and safety of its fighters.
“They got me tested for COVID-19. I guess they tested all the fighters, too, which is kind of like a positive thing. Make you feel a little bit safe to get along with those people.”
“There’s a chance that I can be fighting on that card,” he said.
“But you know they have to settle everything down. For now, it seems like they have a location but they still have to double check and see how they can handle this event safely for people.”
“Because first of all, they’re not just expecting to put people there fighting. They’re also trying to make things to care about our health.”
“I think it’s still the same opponent. I assume he got tested as well. If he’s well, yeah, I think that’s still the plan.”
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Francis Ngannou)