After weeks of speculation and guesses as to where UFC 249 would take place, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has reportedly settled on a location for the revamped pay-per-view (PPV) event just under two weeks from showtime.
So how is it possible for UFC to stage an event in California, which recently suspended all combat activity through the month of May because of the coronavirus? Tachi Fight Palace is on an Indian reservation belonging to the Tachi-Yokut Tribe, part of the federally-recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community, per the report. That means the resort has its own commission and doesn’t necessarily have to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
That said, the resort has taken the proper measures to protect its employees from Covid-19, temporarily shutting down on March 20 to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
If the venue sounds familiar, that’s because it hosted multiple World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) events during the now-defunct promotion’s early days. And of course, it was the long-time home of the Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) promotion, which saw its run come to an end in 2018.
It was recently announced that the new main event would feature an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. UFC 249 was originally set to be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his 155-pound strap against “El Cucuy,” but the promotion had to look elsewhere after “The Eagle” was grounded in Russia.
Of course, no fans will be allowed to attend since it will be a closed-door event limited to a select few UFC staff members, commissioners and, of course, members of the athlete’s fight team.
Dana White — who has been grinding to lock down a venue for awhile in the face of a worldwide pandemic — recently revealed he is in the process of securing a private island to stage international fights. In the meantime, he stated that this current venue will be the official home for all UFC events for the next two months, vowing to pump out events on a weekly basis.
In a cruel twist of fate, the resort is only three hours away from San Jose, Calif., home of American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) were Nurmagomedov trains.