Former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champions Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade, 28, of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Rose “Thug” Namajunas, 27, of Denver, Colorado, United States are scheduled to have their rematch at “UFC 249.” However, the latter is reportedly pulling out of the card.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is reportedly looking for a last-minute replacement for Namajunas. Neither she nor the mixed martial arts promotion has confirmed this.
Namajunas became the new UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion at “UFC 217” on November 4, 2017 by dethroning Joanna Jedrzejczyk, 32, of Olsztyn, Poland. The former was dethroned by Andrade at “UFC 237” on May 11, 2019.
On August 31, 2019, Andrade was dethroned by “Magnum” Zhang Weili, 30, of Beijing, China at “UFC Fight Night 157.” The Chinese champion successfully defended the belt from Jedrzejczyk at “UFC 248” on March 7, 2020.
“UFC 249” will be held on April 18, 2020 as originally scheduled. The location has yet to be revealed but rumors claim that it will be at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California, United States.
In the main event of the evening, Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, 36, of Ventura, California and Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje, 31, of Arvada, Colorado, USA will compete for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship belt. The latter replaced reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 31, of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia, who is currently quarantined in his home country.
Some mixed martial arts fans are happy that “UFC 249” is breaking the MMA drought in the world. However, others do not support the decision of the UFC to still hold an event despite the COVID-19 pandemic including BRAVE Combat Federation president Mohammed Shahid.
“Money should not be a priority,” Shahid said. “If money is your priority, you’re not going to grow and develop a sport. Everything else comes with it, including money itself when you are looking to grow the sport and that’s what we are doing at BRAVE CF.”