UFC president Dana White has revealed the promotion are trying to make UFC 249 the ‘baddest card that’s ever been done’, hinting some big-name fighters could be added to the event. UFC 249, which is due to be headlined by the eagerly-anticipated lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, was scheduled to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 18.
The coronavirus outbreak, however, has laid waste to those plans and left the promotion looking for a new venue to host their fourth pay-per-view card of the year.
As it stands, the UFC 249 is on course to be one of the company’s most successful PPV cards of the year.
And White is hoping the addition of some of the fights which were recently cancelled due to COVID-19 – including Francis Ngannou’s heavyweight showdown with Jairzinho Rozenstruik – will make the show one of the promotion’s most memorable events in recent years.
“We’re building a card where people can still manoeuvre and still get in,” White said during an Instagram Live broadcast with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
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We’re trying to build the baddest card that’s ever been done in the history of the sport
UFC president Dana White on the reshuffling of UFC 249
“We’re trying to build the baddest card that’s ever been done in the history of the sport.
“Some of the things are going to work out, and some of the things might not work out. We’re trying to figure out if they don’t, what do we do?
“Actually, Francis is one of the guys we’re looking at, too.”
The UFC’s decision to press ahead with UFC 249 has divided opinion in the MMA and sporting worlds, with many believing the promotion have failed to realise the gravity of the situation.
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White has paid little attention to what the promotion’s detractors are saying, insisting they’re doing everything possible to make the event safe for their athletes and staff members.
“I talked to the President and the Vice President of the United States about this,” White said during an Instagram live broadcast.
“They’re taking this very serious. They’re saying, ‘Be cautious, be careful, but live your life and stop panicking.’”
“Everybody is panicking, and instead of panicking.
“We’re actually getting out there and working with doctors and health officials and the government to figure out how we can keep the sport safe and how we can continue to put on events.”
The UFC have yet to announce the new location for their eagerly-anticipated Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson card, although White has revealed they have found a venue for the event.
During an Instagram Live broadcast with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, White said: “I do (know where it is), but I’m not ready to tell you yet.
“I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.”
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