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Report: UFC 249, future shows heading to California's Tachi Palace

Despite the state canceling combat sports events through the end of May, the UFC is heading to Lemoore, California's Tachi Palace Casino as their new home base for the next two months according to the New York Times.

The Times confirmed an initial tweet by Jeff Sherwood, the founder of Sherdog and a host on Between Rounds Radio. The UFC has yet to announce the location of April 18th's UFC 249 pay-per-view, but Dana White said Monday they found a location to run shows at but were keeping it secret.

Neither the UFC or the casino have publicly commented on the news as of this writing. Sherwood said four shows are set to be held at the casino, closed since March 30th. It sits on ground owned by the Tachi-Yokut Tribe, making it exempt from state regulations, enabling the UFC to hold events there.

In a statement released to the Times, the California athletic commission said they are following the guidance of local government and the Association of Ringside Physicians who recommended the indefinite suspension of all combat sports events in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. They will not participate in UFC 249 or other UFC events there.

The UFC could act as their own commission or use another commission, similar to what Bellator does when they visit a country that otherwise doesn't have one. A frequent example is the Mohegan Tribe (CT) Department of Athletic Regulations.

Longtime MMA fans will remember the Tachi Palace Fights promotion, an early cradle for future UFC, WEC, and Strikeforce fighters that ran from 2009 to 2018.

White said Monday that in addition to his secret U.S. based location, he is finalizing a deal for a secret, private island on which he will welcome international fighters to put on events. There is no announced plan for how the logistics will work given the various travel bans around the world, but White has said in recent weeks that he wishes to tell the media nothing and that fighters won't even know where they are going.

The UFC has canceled three shows due to the pandemic and has eight shows scheduled from April 18 through June 20th.