Regardless how hard Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tries to keep its event locations a secret amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, leaks are bound to happen. That was the case a few weeks ago after reports surfaced that UFC 249 — which was originally set to go down on April 18, 2020 — would go down in Lemoore, California.
After the event was postponed, UFC President Dana White — who initially denied the reports — eventually admitted that Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore was indeed set to play host. Now, it seems the lid has been blown off UFC’s latest top-secret location, as UFC 249 — which has been re-booked for May 9 — will now take place inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., according to Dave Meltzer.
UFC has yet to confirm or deny the report, and it likely won’t do so until fight night draws closer. The promotion looked to Florida after the Governor of “The Sunshine State” — Ron DeSantis — opened up its doors thanks to an “essential services” loophole.
Furthermore, UFC’s options were dwindled after Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) denied any reports that it would lift its combat license bans to allow UFC to stage fights at its APEX facility anytime soon.
UFC 249 will be headlined by an interim Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, with the victor facing Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year in a title unification bout. Also, Henry Cejudo is expected to defend his Bantamweight title against Jose Aldo, while Francis Ngannou faces Jairzinho Rozenstruick in Heavyweight action.
The pay-per-view (PPV) offering will be a closed-door event.