When Florida governor Ron DeSantis recently declared that pro sports were essential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, it felt inevitable that the UFC would head to the Sunshine State at some point as they searched to find a home, any home, to stage an event.
On Tuesday, MMA Fighting reported that May 9th's UFC 249 will take place in Florida with the exact location still unknown. UFC has yet to publicly give the location or the official card for the show. Citing sources close to the situation who chose to remain anonymous, fighters will be flying into Jacksonville and then heading to wherever the event will be.
Florida has hosted one MMA empty arena show during the pandemic and their athletic commission told MMA Fighting they are prepared to do so again.
This will be the company's third attempt at staging the event, first scheduled for Brooklyn, NY, on April 18th, and then moved to Lemoore, CA's Tachi Palace. In the case of the latter, California governor Gavin Newsom reportedly intervened, contacting upper Disney/ESPN management as the show would have fallen outside federal guidelines as it sits on tribal land.
The pay-per-view is set to be headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje and a bantamweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and Dominic Cruz. Women's dual champion Amanda Nunes said on Monday that she will not participate in the show despite her name being initially added to the show.
The event was officially re-christened UFC 249 on Tuesday according to ESPN's Brett Okamoto.