UFC 249 to Have 1,200-Plus Coronavirus Tests Available at Jacksonville Event

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2020

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 07:  UFC President Dana White speaks to the media during the UFC 248 Press Conference at the Toyota Center on February 7, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

UFC is taking extra precautions to keep personnel safe during for the upcoming UFC 249 pay-per-view Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida. 

The organization will have over 1,200 coronavirus tests for athletes and staff, including 600 antibody tests and 600 antigen tests, per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal:

John Ourand @Ourand_SBJ

UFC has 1,200+ coronavirus tests on hand to make sure its fighters stay safe this weekend. COO Lawrence Epstein walked me through its plans. SBJ Media is live: 🔒https://t.co/JbM1hvBztb🔒 https://t.co/KSP2RfLhc3

The event was initially scheduled to take place in Brooklyn on April 18, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused numerous changes, including the location and several matches on the slate.

Tony Ferguson was initially set to headline the event with a match against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he will instead face Justin Gaethje. Henry Cejudo will defend his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz.

There also won't be fans in the arena, while all staff members will wear personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves, according to Marc Raimondi of ESPN. Post-fight interviews won't take place in the Octagon as has become customary.

Meanwhile, Ferguson proved he underwent testing after posting a video on his Instagram account.

All of the precautions are to help limit the potential spread of the coronavirus, a disease that has caused over 70,000 deaths in the United States, per CNN.com.