UFC 249 is set to be a potential classic and as things stand is still going ahead – but not in the original New York location.
The headline bout sees unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov put his crown on the line against former interim title holder Tony Ferguson.
This pair have previously been scheduled to fight on FOUR separate occasions, but every one of those bouts has been cancelled before the fighters could settle things in the Octagon.
When is UFC 249 – Khabiv vs Ferguson?.
UFC 249 was set to be held in Brooklyn in New York, but this will not be the case anymore because of the coronavirus.
UFC 249 is STILL set for Saturday, April 18 but UFC boss Dana White said the location will changed.
The current rule in the US has banned gatherings of more than 10 people inside, meaning the card will have to be on behind close doors if on in the country.
White has insisted Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson will go ahead with “10 people in the room” and blasted “wimpiest” critics who have called for the fight to be axed amid the pandemic.
He explained to ESPN: “We’re gonna follow these guidelines to not have more than 10 people in a room and we’re hoping that this all clears up by April.
"This fight’s going to happen, no crowd, whatever it takes. [It’s] probably not going to even be in the United States but this fight’s going to happen.”
However, Khabib's father has said he thinks the show may go on in Dubai.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov said: "Most likely it will be Dubai. Firstly, it’s easier to fight diseases because of the heat. And I think the Emirates will pay for the UFC fight faster and easier.
"Abu Dhabi may well be, but then, [that’s up to] Dana White. I can’t approve, but there are more chances there.”
UFC cards usually get going 11.30pm GMT on fight night, though that is when they are broadcast live from the States.
Expect the same here, with the prelims getting underway from 1am, and the main card sometime after 3am GMT in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Which TV channel and live stream can I watch it on?
FANS on this side of the pond will be able to watch this bout on BT Sport.
Khabib's last fight at UFC 242 was on BT Sport pay-per-view.
It has not yet been confirmed whether the event will be on a BT Sport channel for customers or BT Sport Box Office.
Who else is fighting?
AS it stands, the full card and prelims schedule is yet to be completed.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson (UFC lightweight Championship)
- Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas (women's straw-weight)
- Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar (featherweight)
- Karl Roberson vs Makhmud Muradov (middleweight)
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs TBA (heavyweight)
- Uriah Hall vs Ronaldo Sauza (middleweight)
- Lyman Good vs Belal Muhammad (welterweight)
- Ben Rothwell vs Gian Villante (heavyweight)
- Khama Worthy vs Ottman Azaitar (lightweight)
- Sijara Eubanks vs Sarah Moras (women's bantamweight)
What they said
Khabib: "It’s impossible to predict a fight and what direction it’ll go.
"I never worried about an opponent’s actions and what and how he’ll do it. I always study an opponent’s strengths and try to deflect them when I get in the cage.
"Nobody ever cut me and I don’t think I’ll get one that’s so bad that the judges stop the fight. It’ll be interesting. I’ve never been in a way that left a black eye, so he’s got a task for himself.
"I hope the fight won’t get called off and we’ll finally find out who’s better.”
- Khabib to win – 2/5
- Ferguson to end Khabib's unbeaten run – 2/1
*Odds from Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication
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