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UFC 249 to take place behind closed doors in Florida on 9 May

Justin Gaethje has replaced Khabib Nurmagomedov as the headline opponent to Tony Ferguson.

Dana White.
Dana White.
Image: Jason Silva

UFC 249 IS set to go ahead behind closed doors on 9 May in Florida with an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje the headline act.

The event was due to take place in Brooklyn with Ferguson fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov on 18 April.

The coronavirus pandemic led to it being re-scheduled for California, before UFC president Dana White later said it would take place “somewhere on earth”.

Gaethje was brought in for Nurmagomedov, who was not allowed to travel, but a decision from broadcaster ESPN and parent company Disney meant White was forced to cancel.

However, White has negotiated a new date with Gaethje retaining his place as Ferguson’s opponent.

White, who also announced events at the same venue on 13 and 16 May, said on UFC’s official website: “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.”

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