Dana White announced Monday afternoon that former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson will face former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249 on Saturday, April 18th.
The location for the fight? "Somewhere on EARTH!!!!!", White said in his tweet. A location on tribal ground somewhere in/around the West Coast is reportedly where the company will aim to run shows for the forseable future, according to ESPN's Ariel Helwani.
It's assumed the event will be in front of an empty arena and is still scheduled for pay per view on ESPN.
The original main event was scheduled to be Ferguson challenging current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but Nurmagomedov is stuck in Dagestan, Russia, due to the coronavirus related travel bans around the world. He said UFC had told him the fight was going to be in Abu Dhabi, but those plans changed after his arrival there.
The 31-year-old Gaethje has won three straight, all by first round finish while the 36-year-old Ferguson has won twelve straight dating back to October 2013.
On Sunday, White said he was going to announce the full card for the event on Monday, which is expected to feature only those fighters who live in the United States due to the travel ban. He and the Endeavor-owned UFC have come under scrutiny for continuing to push on having events despite the global pandemic and without a documented plan on testing fighters, staffers, and arena personnel for COVID-19.