The scheduled for April 18 UFC 249 fight card is expected to be headlined by a five-round lightweight title bout between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and number-one contender Tony Ferguson. After Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY fell off, the new location for the event is yet to be announced, yet Dana White recently said that it was 99.9 percent done.
In addition, several other high-profile matchups could join the lineup. This includes a heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
“We’re building a card where people can still maneuver and still get in,” Dana White said in a live chat on Instagram with ESPN. “We are 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 are 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].”
The Ngannou vs Rozenstruik fight was expected to serve as the main event of UFC Fight Night in Columbus, OH this coming weekend. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) spread the card was first moved to APEX in Las Vegas, and then cancelled, following the restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Francis Ngannou (14-3) won three bouts in a row via stoppage in the first round. This includes the TKO of Junior dos Santos, KO of Cain Velasquez and TKO of Curtis Blaydes.
Undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-0) won nine out of ten bouts prior to the final horn. He is coming off the fifth-round KO against Alistair Overeem, following 29-second stoppage of Andrei Arlovski.
The location and finalized UFC 249 fight card, (and whether the event will actually proceed on the schedule date) is expected to be determined in the coming weeks.