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Dana White confirms ‘four or five’ locations for UFC 249: ‘We’re getting this deal done’

Despite many obstacles blocking the tracks, Dana White has attempted to keep the UFC train rolling along.

Over the past few weeks, as the COVID-19 outbreak burst into a global pandemic, White and company have been racing against time to find a new host location for UFC 249 next month, which is currently scheduled to take on April 18. The event will be headlined by a lightweight grudge match pitting current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov against top contender Tony Ferguson.

With strong international travel restrictions and countries shutting down borders, White has had to deal with a long list of issues leading into UFC 249. But when most people would close up shop and buries themselves in self quarantine, White believes it’s time to find some normalcy amongst all the chaos. That’s why the UFC president has worked so hard and now has a few locations on deck for UFC 249.

“I’m gonna try and pull off Tony vs. Khabib on April 18 and try to get some normalcy back in this country,” said White in a recent interview with Mike Tyson. “Every day that I work on this thing, I get another curve ball thrown at me. Every time we plan something, it falls apart — I have to re-do it, re-do it.

“I have four or five locations right now and we’re getting this deal done. And then we’re going to figure out who we can get in, who we can’t, what we can do and we’re going to build a card around it.”

While many members of the MMA media believe UFC should follow the other majors U.S. sports organizations and go into hibernation, White thinks the whole bunch are just weak and wimpy people. White has remained defiant in his approach to the COVID-19 scare and will seemingly do whatever it takes to keep the business moving.

“Everybody’s running and hiding,” White said. “I’m one of those guys that would rather get out there and find solutions. How do we figure this out? How do we beat this thing?

“Listen, if you’re somebody that’s a high risk, you should probably stay away and stay quarantined for a while. What happens when flu season comes again next year? What happens then?

“I think that the media has made this thing scary,” he continued. “People are buying all of the toilet paper there is. If you just look at a lot of things that are going on, it’s wacky and totally driven by fear. It’s very weird.”

At the end of the day, White is going to pull every rabbit out of every hat to keep UFC 249 on schedule. It offers one of the biggest fights in the history of the promotion and the UFC president wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t try to salvage it. It isn’t the most popular approach during these uneasy times, but it’s just something White has to do.

“I think that in a year or two, we’re going to be like, ‘holy s**t, we shut down the whole world for this thing.”

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