“UFC 249” will reportedly take place at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California, United States. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has yet to confirm the venue but it has announced that it will be held on April 18, 2020 as originally scheduled.
Affiliated with Between Rounds Radio, Sherdog founder Jeff Sherwood took to Twitter on April 7, 2020 to reveal that the Tachi Palace Casino Resort will be the “UFC 249” location. He tagged UFC president Dana White, who has yet to confirm the venue of the upcoming UFC event.
Three people also told the New York Times that the Tachi Palace Casino Resort will indeed play host to “UFC 249.” The land where the casino is located belongs to the Tachi-Yokut Tribe, which is part of the federally recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community.
Although the Tachi Palace Casino Resort did not have reported cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). it decided to suspend all gaming operations on March 20, 2020. The resort’s general manager Michael Olujic said, “The health and safety of our guests and team members is our number one priority and we will take every measure necessary to protect their well-being.”
While the “UFC 249” location is still a mystery, the main event has been confirmed. It will be headlined by Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, 36, of Ventura, California and Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje, 31, of Arvada, Colorado, USA.
Gaethje replaced reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 31, of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia, who is currently quarantined in his home country. Ferguson and Gaethje will compete for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship title in the main event of “UFC 249.”
White reportedly obtained two locations to hold UFC fights despite the social distancing guidelines enacted in many countries severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak including the U.S. He previously told ESPN that he has obtained an island for international fighters who could not come into the U.S. because of the pandemic.
However, White did not reveal the location of the island. He just said, “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,” the UFC president continued. “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.”
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.”