After Khabib Nurmagomedov was ruled out of his highly anticipated fight against Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje has been named as the new fighter to fight in the main event of UFC 249. The fight was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
The location of the fight is not known yet, however, Ariel Helwani of ESPN noted that the promotion is looking to have the event on the west coast of the US.
“The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH,” said UFC President Dana White on Twitter along with a photo of Gathje signing the contract for the fight on his phone.
Ferguson was first meant to face Nurmagomedov, who is the current UFC Lightweight Champion. Now fighting fellow lightweight contender Gaethje, the fight will be for the interim belt for the weight class.
The fight is scheduled for April 18th, which would be the promotion’s first event in five weeks. The event was originally meant to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, however had to move due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
There is currently no other fights announced for the show. The original card included a rematch between former UFC Strawweight Champions Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas.