How the UFC 249 Fight Card looked Before and After Coronavirus COVID-19 Impact

6 Apr , 2020,
Pannie Tran

Dana White and co have pulled a Coronavirus miracle out of their promotional hat. Most fans, pundits and health experts were in major doubt, but nonetheless it appears the UFC is absolutely committed in pulling off this April 18 event. Khabib is out, and Justin Gaethje is in vs. Tony Ferguson for yet another interim title. Multiple more BIG fights/fighters that were previously cancelled have been moved to UFC 249 including Francis Ngannou, LUQUE/PRICE, Greg Hardy, Marlon Vera, Michael Johnson and many more, get the lowdown here on Fight Matrix… after the OG jump.

This is how the UFC 249 card looked before the Coronavirus impact:

Before Corona – UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson

Lightweight Undisputed Title Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson

Women’s Strawweight Jéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas

Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cuțelaba

Lightweight Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Hernandez

Featherweight Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar

Preliminary Card (ESPN)

  • Middleweight Uriah Hall vs. Ronaldo Souza
  • Welterweight Belal Muhammad vs. TBD (originally Lyman Good who got USADA’d)
  • Lightweight Khama Worthy vs. Ottman Azaitar
  • Heavyweight Ben Rothwell vs. Gian Villante

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

  • Women’s Bantamweight Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras
  • Middleweight Karl Roberson vs. Makhmud Muradov
  • Bantamweight Hunter Azure vs. Umar Nurmagomedov
  • Heavyweight Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. TBA (originally Cyril Gane who got injured)

After Corona – UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje

FIGHT ORDER/PLACEMENT RELEASED BY UFC

Bold = new fight, italics = previously cancelled fight moved to UFC 249

Light Interim Title Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje

Women’s Strawweight Rose vs. Andrade 2 same

Heavyweight Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro (fight originally scheduled March 28)

Welterweight Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price (Price originally scheduled April 11 vs. Muslim Salikhov)

Featherweight Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar same

Heavyweight Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik (fight originally scheduled March 28)

Middleweight Uriah Hall vs. Jacare Souza same

Lightweight Alex Hernandez vs. Omar Morales (Hernandez originally scheduled vs. Islam Makhachev UFC 249 same day same event)

Bantamweight Marlon Vera vs. Ray Borg (Vera originally scheduled March 28 vs. Eddie Wineland)

Lightweight Michael Johnson vs. Khama Worthy (Worthy originaly scheduled vs. Ottman Azaitar UFC 249 same day same event)

Women’s Bantamweight Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras same

Light Heavyweight Sam Alvey vs. Ryan Spann (Alvey originally scheduled March 28 vs. Khalil Rountree, Spann originally scheduled March 21 vs. Paul Craig)

_______________________________________________________

WHO’S IN. WHO’S OUT simplified

These fighters are OFFICIALLY IN:

  1. Justin Gaethje (Khabib’s replacement)
  2. Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
  3. Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
  4. Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro
  5. Alex Hernandez vs. Omar Morales (Hernandez originally scheduled vs. Islam Makhachev UFC 249 same day same event)
  6. Marlon Vera vs. Ray Borg (Vera originally scheduled March 28 vs. Eddie Wineland)
  7. Michael Johnson vs. Khama Worthy (Worthy originaly scheduled vs. Ottman Azaitar UFC 249 same day same event)
  8. Sam Alvey vs. Ryan Spann (Alvey originally scheduled March 28 vs. Khalil Rountree, Spann originally scheduled March 21 vs. Paul Craig)

These fighters are OFFICIALLY OFF UFC 249:

  1. Khabib Nurmagomedov OFF
  2. Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cuțelaba OFF
  3. Lightweight Islam Makhachev OFF vs. Alexander Hernandez (Hernandez rebooked vs. Omar Morales UFC 249)
  4. Welterweight Belal Muhammad OFF vs. TBD (originally Lyman Good who got USADA’d)
  5. Lightweight Ottman Azaitar OFF vs. Khama Worthy (Worthy rebooked vs. Michael Johnson UFC 249)
  6. Heavyweight Ben Rothwell vs. Gian Villante OFF
  7. Middleweight Karl Roberson vs. Makhmud Muradov OFF
  8. Bantamweight Hunter Azure vs. Umar Nurmagomedov OFF
  9. Heavyweight Shamil Abdurakhimov OFF vs. TBA (originally Cyril Gane who got injured)

Phew.

Will it happen? Should it happen? Does it end in horrible disaster with UFC fighters and employees contracting and spreading Corona if not outright dying? Or are we witnessing the stuff of legends… MMA Dana lore that will stand the test of time, our jaws perpetually dropped? Or… OR and quite possibly the worse scenario, did Dana/UFC just sign themselves up to create the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao  of MMA? Justin Gaethje playing the Juan Manuel Marquez to Tony Ferguson’s tragic and unfortunate, Manny Pacquiao. #KhabibTony2025  Truly, your guess and everyone’s else guess is as good as mine.

And perhaps maybe, just maybe… Everything goes right. Tony beats Gaethje (Tony real training camp preparing for 5 rounds vs. Gaethje who knows how serious he’s been the past month or so, round 3 to championship rounds finish of a gassed Gaethje doesn’t sound crazy at all). Tony doesn’t get fucked over, and chaotic justice triumphs.

Tony Ferguson 13 – Khabib Nurmagomedov 12. That might just be asking for too much.

But in the end, what more is there to say besides… 

Alhamdulillah.

“Take care of yourself and each other. – Jerry Springer” – Kenny Florian

April 7 update: Dana White on USA venue and “Fight Island” location

“I can’t keep putting fights in the United States, I have to put fights on in Europe too. Or I’ll end up smoking all the talent in the United States. We’re gonna go back and forth between the venue I have in here (in the US) and the island.”