UFC 249 is still on schedule for May 9, with Tony Ferguson fighting Justin Gaethje for an interim lightweight title in the main event.
Although UFC President Dana White hasn’t announced a venue for his promotion’s biggest pay-per-view show of the spring, he remains determined to hold an event in less than two weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The mixed martial arts promotion announced the change to UFC 249’s main event bout Monday. Gaethje replaces lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is apparently unable to leave Russia amid the pandemic.
“The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!!!!” White tweeted Monday.
Ferguson (25-3) is a longtime lightweight contender who has been booked to fight Nurmagomedov five times. Every single bout has fallen through due to injury or other circumstances.
Gaethje (20-2) is among the UFC’s most exciting fighters, with a heedless brawling mentality that suggests a thrilling matchup with the equally reckless Ferguson.