By Nolan King | March 25, 2020 3:40 pm
UFC president Dana White is dead set on making sure UFC 249 happens April 18. However, it could feature a different lineup than originally expected.
In an Instagram live chat with ESPN on Wednesday, White revealed the card could gain new fights depending on the logistics. Among the potential additions is Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, which was supposed to headline UFC on ESPN 8 this Saturday before the card was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re building a card where people can still maneuver and still get in,” White said. “We’re trying to build the baddest card that’s ever been done in the history of the sport. … Some of the things are going to work out, and some of the things might not work out. We’re trying to figure out if they don’t, what do we do? … Actually, Francis is one of the guys we’re looking at, too. Yes, yes, yes (against Rozenstruik).”
UFC on ESPN 8 was originally scheduled to take place in Columbus, Ohio. When state guidelines were implemented to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the event was shifted to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Days later, the Nevada Athletic Commission declared a temporary suspension of combat sports until March 25. Shortly thereafter, the UFC elected to postpone the event, along with two others.
UFC 249 was originally scheduled to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Like Ohio, the state of New York put a temporary ban on large gatherings. White has made it clear he plans on following through with the event by any means possible. No city or venue has been announced at this time.