UFC 249 was originally scheduled for April 18th in Los Angeles, California, until UFC president Dana White was forced to cancel the event. As the spread of COVID-19 was starting to take its toll on the U.S. Dana White was determined to keep on schedule with the planed fights for the next few months. Though as things started to shut down, UFC 249 started to be in jeopardy of happening. First the main event of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson for the UFC Lightweight Championship had to be changed as Khabib got stuck in Russia when the country shut down their broader. Then, the governor of California wanting the event cancelled, went over Dana White’s head to the Head of Disney to have the event shut down. As Disney owns ESPN, who broadcasts the pay-per-views, Disney has the power to control weather or not a UFC event happens.
Now a week after 249 was supposed to happen, Dana White announced that UFC 249 will take place on May 9th at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. The UFC is able to make UFC 249 happen this soon as FL has deemed sports an essential business. In a world that live sports is at a stand still UFC looks to move forward with their events and they are starting back up with a massive card. Looking first at the main card, the main event Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje for the Interim Lightweight Title. Ferguson currently riding an eight-year, twelve fight win streak desperately wanting that title fight with Khabib. Gaethje is coming into this fight with three straight 1st round KO/TKO victories, though has no been on a PPV since December of 2017. This is going to be a hard-hitting fight with two power house fighters, but Tony Ferguson be too focused on the fight with Khabib that he still hasn’t got. next, the co-main event of Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz for the Bantamweight Championship. This fight probably has the most interesting background of any fight on this card. This is Cruz’s first fight back after being out of action while over a year due to injury. After a recent fight Henry Cejudo called out Cruz to set up this match up, which was a strange turn of events snice Cejudo is the champion. This fight is personal for the two as they use to be on the national wrestling team together and there is some resentment between the two. This will be a strong technical matchup between the two best bantamweights in the world and could main event it’s own PPV. The third match on card, a heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannu vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik. These are two hard hitting monster and this will surely be a slugfest for the ages. This is a big fight for both men, with the #1 heavyweight Daniel Cormier on the self a win would give #2 Ngannou a title shot. If Rozenstruik wins over the #2 heavyweight it would bring him up the rankings and closer to getting a title shot. The second fight on the card Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar, a featherweight bout between two extremely talented fight who are looking to climb the ranking. The main card will open with Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castroin the heavyweight division. The former NFL player, Greg Hardy has only had a few fights in the UFC, but is looking to make a name for himself as a fight. A win for Hardy here will go a long way to help his young MMA career. This is a card that for a Casual fan like myself, that makes me want to buy the PPV. For those fans who can’t justify spending $80 on a PPV there is going to be three and a half hours of prelim fights with prelim main event of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. UFC 249 is the first event of many as UFC plans to put on four cards in the next month. Though it will be in an empty arena it will be nice to see some form of live sports again. Hopefully this could lead to the rest of live sports coming back in the U.S.