UFC 249: Khabib vs Ferguson may become first UFC event in Africa
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The UFC have wanted to host an event in Africa, but nobody thought that the event in question might be UFC 249 – Capped off by the most anticipated fight of the year.
Times have been tumultuous, as the deadly covid-19 virus has forced all sporting events and public gatherings to cease. The UFC have been forced to cancel the promotion’s next three events; UFC London, UFC Columbus and UFC Portland. The UFC’s following event is UFC 249: Khabib vs Ferguson, with a main event that was supposed to see Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson – For the fifth time. The bout has been unfortunately cancelled four previous times for a variety of unforeseen circumstances.
UFC president Dana White claims that the fight will happen, regardless of where in the world the bout goes down.
This fight is going to happen,” White said. “No crowd – whatever it takes. It probably won’t even be in the United States, but this fight is going to happen.”
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Now some alternatives have been reported. While the UFC has hosted events in Asia before, UFC 249 might become the first in Africa.
Nurmagomedov’s manager; Ali Abdelaziz, has supposedly been in contact with White. In talks with TMZ Sports Abdelaziz claims that The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Manilla, The Philippines are two locations the UFC are considering for hosting UFC 249.
“I talked to Dana White white last night,” Abdelaziz said. “He said there’s a possibility the fight is gonna be out of the country. We discussed about going to Zaire or Manila or some distant places. I said hey, Muhammad Ali did it, I’m sure Dana White can do it.”
Abdelaziz is referring to the famous boxing match between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman, also called “The Rumble in the Jungle”, which took place in the Congo.
As of now these reports have not been confirmed by White or UFC staff. However it’s clear that the UFC are scrambling to find a a venue to host UFC 249, it remains to be seen if that place is in Africa, Asia, or elsewhere.