UFC 249 in doubt as New York governor issues decree limiting attendance to public events amid coronavirus crisis - MMA - TheMacLife

UFC 249 in doubt as New York governor issues decree limiting attendance to public events amid coronavirus crisis

This fight is never going to happen, is it?

By John Balfe - 12 Mar 2020

The most cursed fight in mixed martial arts history has run into another snag: a global pandemic.

The ever-worsening coronavirus crisis has played havoc with the global sporting community, leading to the postponement or cancellation of various leagues and sports worldwide. The NHL and MLS followed the NBA’s decision yesterday in calling a halt to their current seasons but, at the time of writing at least, there has been little official word from the UFC as to the status of their forthcoming events.

Reports online suggest the UFC Columbus card is set to take place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, while the upcoming event in Brazil is to take place behind closed doors. There are also significant fears as to next week’s UFC event in London.

However, the one date that most fight fans will be fixed upon is UFC 249 on April 18 to be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. As you will need little reminding of, that particular fight has fallen apart on four separate occasions in the past — and judging by comments made by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo today, we are standing on the precipice of another.

This means that, as things stand, the UFC cannot hold an event in an arena with a capacity of the 19,000 attendees that Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre holds. Presumably, the option remains to hold the event in an empty arena or move it to an alternate location.

But as things stand and before we have heard any different from the UFC, next month’s event in Brooklyn most certainly isn’t taking place in any regular fashion.

READ MORE: How do we assess the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mixed martial arts calendar?

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