The UFC plans to hold its April 18th pay-per-view event on tribal land in California to circumvent restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the United States.
The New York Times and Sherdog founder Jeff Sherwood report that the event will be held at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort which is 40 miles south of Fresno. Tribal land is not subject to the guidelines restricting gatherings.
UFC 249 was initially set to take place in New York and be headlined by a lightweight title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
However, Covid-19 restrictions meant it could not be held in New York and that Nurmagomedov could not leave Russia for the fight.
— Sherdog (@TheSherdoggy) April 6, 2020
Undeterred by the possible consequences of holding such gatherings, UFC president Dana White is moving forward.
Ferguson will now face Justin Gaethje in an interim lightweight title fight.
"So this place where this fight is going to be on April 18 I have locked up for two months, so I'm going to continue to pump fights out," White told ESPN earlier this week.
"I also secured an island. I've got an island. The infrastructure is being built right now. We're going to do all of our international fights on this island.
"So when we do this fight April 18, international and in the United States, we're going to start cranking. The UFC will be back up and running, internationally and here in the States."
"You keep people in their houses for too long without entertainment, people are going to start losing their minds. And we need to start figuring out solutions. That's what we're doing. We're going to keep everyone safe, and we're going to pull this thing off."
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