UFC president Dana White is working to get his company back in business on May 9 with a stacked UFC 249 card that would provide plenty of action for fans and bettors alike.
White told multiple media outlets that a rescheduled UFC 249 is in the works, one that could feature three title fights and a number of other intriguing matchups.
White Building Historic Card for UFC 249
The proposed card includes fights that were part of the original UFC 249 lineup, as well as some from UFC 250 – originally set for May 9 – and entirely new matchups.
The main event will see Tony Ferguson meet Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. That fight was initially booked to be the headliner for the original UFC 249 on April 18, before the promoter cancelled that show.
Most bookmakers haven’t posted odds for the Ferguson vs. Gaethje clash, which – like most of the May 9 card – hasn’t been officially announced. But sportsbooks have made lines for some of the other expected fights, mainly those that were already scheduled for some point in the near future.
For instance, FanDuel Sportsbook sees Henry Cejudo as a -194 pick to defend his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz (+164). Amanda Nunes (-500) comes into her featherweight title defense against Felicia Spencer (+350) as a significant favorite. Meanwhile, Anthony Pettis (-120) and Donald Cerrone (+102) will meet up in a competitive clash between lightweight contenders.
That’s only the beginning of what looks to be one of the most loaded cards in UFC history. Incredibly, White says he might be able to make the show even better by the time May 9 rolls around.
“It’s been a long time and we have a lot of guys who want to fight,” White told Yahoo Sports. “Believe me when I tell you, I agree with you that top to bottom, this is probably the best card we’ve ever done. But it could get better.”
Venue Yet to Be Announced for ‘Very Expensive’ Show
It costs money to bring in that much talent, and difficulties in securing a venue could add to the UFC’s expenses. White says that the results will be worth the cost, however.
“Listen, I’m not stopping. I have this thing figured out,” White said on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. “It’s just very expensive. It’s very expensive and I’m willing to spend the money to do it.”
White was close to holding UFC 249 on April 18 at Tachi Palace Casino Resort. He relented after ESPN and Disney asked him to “stand down” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While White hasn’t announced a venue for the proposed May 9 card, he has ruled one possibility out: the “Fight Island” that he says will eventually be able to hold international bouts. Instead, White told Yahoo Sports that it will be ready by mid-May.
“We’re going to run through the American fighters pretty quickly, so we have to get that up and ready to roll,” White said.