UFC 249 is on TONIGHT as MMA rides to the rescue for sports fans.
Just over two weeks after Dana White was told to scrap UFC 249, the kingpin has secured a bumper card for an event with a new venue.
The coronavirus outbreak had suspended the UFC from operating earlier this month with Disney and ESPN executives pulling the plug on the show set to feature Ferguson vs Gaethje.
But now White and Co have put the show back on the road – although it is not on the UFC bosses’ private island.
And despite Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Sousa testing positive for coronavirus and being removed from the prelims card, the event is still set to go ahead as planned.
What time does UFC 249 start?
- The early prelims will get underway at 11pm BST, the prelims 1am and the main card from 3am. That is 6pm, 8pm, 10pm EST.
- Expect Ferguson vs Gaethje to start at around 5am BST (midnight EST).
- Things will take place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida and the event is set to be broadcast behind-closed-doors, with no crowd in attendance.
- Two more UFC Fight Nights will follow on May 13 and 16, with the cards still to be confirmed.
Originally UFC 249 was set for Saturday, April 18.
Justin Gaethje was drafted in as replacement, before the Covid-19 crisis put pay to any chance of the event going ahead.
UFC 250 was set for Sao Paulo in Brazil – and this new event sees the cards from 249 and 250 combine for a stunning night of MMA action.
White explained after announcing the new date of May 9: “I can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans.
“I want to give a big thanks to Mayor Curry, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and Florida State Boxing Commission executive director Patrick Cunningham for getting this thing done and giving us a venue to put on these incredible cards, as well our media partners including ESPN and ESPN+, for bringing it to fans.
“My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”
What TV channel and is UFC 249 on and can I live stream it?
- You can watch the main card and the prelims live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
- In the US, all prelim bouts will be simulcast on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in English and Spanish.
- While the main event on ESPN+ will be pay-per-view in the US.
- The early prelims will be shown on UFC Fight Pass app for subscribers.
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Who is fighting on the card?
THE UFC is calling this ‘one of the most stacked cards in recent history’.
Along with Ferguson and Gaethje at the top of the bill, there’s Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz set to battle it out for the Bantamweight Championship.
Topping the prelims card is a welterweight showdown between two fan favourites, as Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis square up.
Here’s how UFC 249 is set to go down:
Main Card (from 3am on BT Sport 1 in UK/ 10pm ESPN+ EST)
- Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje (interim UFC Lightweight Championship)
- Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
- Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozentruik (heavyweight)
- Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar (featherweight)
- Greg Hardy vs Yorgan de Castro (heavyweight)
Prelims (from 1am on BT Sport 1/ 8pm ESPN EST)
- Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis (welterweight)
- Alexey Oleynik vs Fabricio Werdum (heavyweight)
- Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson (women’s strawweight)
- Uriah Hall vs Ronaldo Souza (middleweight) – CANCELLED
Early prelims (from 11pm UK time/ 6pm EST on UFC Fight Pass)
- Vicente Luque vs Niko Price (welterweight)
- Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa (featherweight)
- Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey (light heavyweight)