There are mere hours remaining before UFC 249 sets sail later this evening (Sat., May 9, 2020) live on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., as Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje square off in the main event for the interim UFC lightweight title.
While UFC had to deal with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and two of his cornermen testing positive for coronavirus late Friday night, the show remains on schedule as the promotion tries to return some normalcy to an eager sports world. That’s one of the reasons why UFC is spending so much money to stage its return this weekend in Jacksonville and also why UFC 249, despite losing Souza vs. Uriah Hall, remains one of the best cards on paper.
Like most of the sports world, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor with be watching closely tonight as UFC 249 unfolds live on ESPN+ PPV. Not only is “Notorious” curious to see how Ferguson vs. Gaethje turns out, but the UFC star is also interested in seeing how the promotion handles its first event back from quarantine. It could greatly affect McGregor’s immediate fighting future.
McGregor, who has been busy helping his home country of Ireland limit the spread of COVID-19, sent the following message to UFC fighters and staff in advance to tonight’s event:
Wishing all my fighting colleagues good health as they put on tonight’s show for us! #UFC249 on ESPN+— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 9, 2020
Good luck and God speed men and women. From the competitors to the cleaners. Thank you all ❤️
Also Prayers up for Jacare Souza and team in making a full recovery. #UFC249 #ESPN
“Wishing all my fighting colleagues good health as they put on tonight’s show for us! Good luck and God speed men and women. From the competitors to the cleaners. Thank you all,” wrote McGregor via Twitter.
“Also Prayers up for Jacare Souza and team in making a full recovery.”
UFC is serving as a crash test dummy of sorts as the first major sports organization to return to action during the coronavirus pandemic. The promotion has already instated COVID-19 procedures and revamped protocol to ensure a safe and healthy environment. We will have to wait and see how it all turns out.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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