Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced recently that he is dropping out of UFC 249 due to lockdown-related travel restrictions, and after UFC CEO Dana White’s insistence that the show will go on, it was stated on April 9 that the event has been officially postponed along with all other scheduled UFC fights. After Khabib was off the main card, MMA fans were expecting to see Justin Gaethje take his place in the planned face-off against former interim champion Tony Ferguson. The fight was originally scheduled to take place on April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, but due to public health-related lockdowns (the reason for Khabib being out of the match), the venue was briefly changed to the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California before pressure from ESPN and California Governor Gavin Newsome caused White to postpone it altogether.
Nonetheless, if you’re curious to know more about the fighters involved at the now-canceled event, then you can still read on to find out more about what was planned for the UFC 249 main card. It’s also not a bad time to
, as there’s still plenty of highlights, exclusive shows, and other sports-related content to enjoy while we wait for UFC to get things up and running again — something that Dana White promised would happen sooner rather than later, thanks in no small part to a private “fight island” that is being set up as a venue for future events.
ESPN+ is a premium streaming service that brings a myriad of sports content right to your computer web browser, mobile device (via the ESPN app), or another compatible streaming setup, and it’s a must-have for fight fans thanks to ESPN’s close relationship with promotions like Top Rank Boxing and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Most importantly, ESPN+ is the only way you can stream live pay-per-view events like the now-postponed UFC 249: Gaethje vs. Ferguson (once they start up again, that is).
UFC 249 was going to be one for the books, with several MMA titans set to clash in the Octagon. The main event was initially going to be a lightweight title fight between undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former interim champ Tony Ferguson. After Khabib was forced to drop out, however, Dana White was quick to install Justin Gaethje on the main card as a replacement to face off against Ferguson for an interim lightweight title.
Tony Ferguson, the American fighter, has a record of 25 wins and only three losses, and he formerly held the interim lightweight championship. Ferguson and Khabib have been scheduled to face off numerous times before, and UFC 249 is another example of how this highly anticipated matchup (one that MMA fans have been waiting to see for years) appears to be cursed.
The second headliner on the UFC 249 main card was going to be one for the books as well. Originally, it was planned to be a rematch between two of MMA’s top women’s fighters, Jessica Andrade and Rose Namujanas, both former champions. However, it was later reported that Namujanas had withdrawn from the card due to undisclosed reasons. A replacement for Namujanas was not found before the event was officially postponed, however.
Andrade and Namujanas have a bit of history between them: Andrade claimed the straw-weight championship from Namujanas with a devastating knockout victory at UFC 237 in May 2019, but then lost the belt in her first title defense against Weili Zhang that August. No women’s championship belt was on the line at UFC 249, but it’s easy to see why both Andrade and Namujanas would be hungry for a win.
UFC 249: Gaethje vs. Ferguson was going to be a pay-per-view event, and
is still the only way you can watch UFV PPV shows live once they start airing again. ESPN+ rings in at just $5 per month or $50 per year, but if you’re looking for a bigger streaming package, then
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Looking for more on UFC? Find results, scheduled fights, top fighters and more on our UFC 2020 page.