UFC 249 Will Be Held on May 9, Card Reportedly Moving to Florida

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

Dana White speaks at a news conference for the UFC 244 mixed martial arts event, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in New York. Jorge Masvidal is scheduled to fight Nate Diaz Saturday, November 2 at Madison Square Garden. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

After a two-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic, UFC is looking to make a comeback by scheduling an event next month.  

Per ESPN's Brett Okamoto, the promotion announced Tuesday that UFC 249 will take place on May 9. 

MMA Fighting's Mike Heck added that the card will take place in Florida, according to "multiple people with knowledge of the promotion's plans," although an exact location has yet to be determined. 

UFC 249 was originally scheduled to take place on April 18, but the company announced eight days before the event that all events had been postponed until further notice at the request of ESPN. 

The decision to move ahead with UFC 249 comes one day after UFC announced the cancellation of four events from April 25 through May 16. 

Prior to the original postponement of UFC 249, Dana White told Okamoto on April 7 he was in the final stages of securing a location to host events and had also gained access to a private island in order to allow international fighters to compete:

"I'll tell you this, I'm this close to getting a deal done. 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. 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."

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ESPN's Marc Raimondi and Ariel Helwani reported April 9 White planned to hold the event at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort on tribal land in order to get around California restrictions on combat events during the pandemic.

It's unclear at this point if the rescheduled UFC 249 will feature the same card as the original event. The April 18 show was going to be headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in a bout for the interim lightweight championship. 

The last UFC event that took place was on March 14 from Brasilia, Brazil in an empty arena.

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