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Time check! Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje will fight at UFC 249 around 12:15 a.m. ET tonight

To stream UFC 249 LIVE on ESPN+ PPV click here!

Ladies and gentlemen, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back in business this evening (Sat., May 9, 2020) to stage UFC 249 live on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Whether you agree or not with UFC’s aggressive approach to return from COVID-19 quarantine, having professional sports back is a welcomed sight for sore eyes. UFC has done a lot over the past two months to put itself in this position tonight to host a live event. The promotion even had to deal with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza testing positive for coronavirus late Friday night, but all UFC 249 systems are still a go.

Leading the way at UFC 249 will be an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Ferguson was originally expected to face undisputed UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov before Russian travel restrictions stranded “Eagle” in Moscow.

Not to worry. Gaethje is a tremendous replacement and the type of fighter who will test “El Cucuy” at every possible turn. Their makeshift headliner may even end up turning into one of the most violent and entertaining wars of the year.

Fight fans all around the world will be tuning in to watch UFC’s memorable return to action later tonight on ESPN+ PPV, but when will the main event actually start?

With four other fights taking place on the PPV main card starting at 10:00 p.m. ET, Ferguson vs. Gaethje is likely to begin sometime around 12:15 a.m. ET (Sunday). The co-main event will feature a bantamweight title fight between current champion Henry Cejudo and former kingpin Dominick Cruz, who is returning after a three-year hiatus. Cruz has gone the distance in all four of his UFC title fights so this one could end up lasting all 25 minutes.

If things do run late (or early) Mania will be sure to provide an updated start time for tonight’s Ferguson vs. Gaethje main event.

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+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.