The COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic has halted most American sports and leagues, including the UFC promotion. Last weekend, the UFC announced that it was canceling the next three events, which were scheduled to take place March 21, 28 and April 11.
The company’s president, Dana White, is adamant that the UFC 249 main event fight between lightweight champ Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and the No. 1 contender Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson will happen. The Octagon was supposed to head to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 18 for UFC 249, but it was recently announced that the event would no longer take place in the state.
White has said that the fight between the top two lightweights will happen regardless, whether or not it’s in the United States. If their bout is canceled, it will be the fifth time a match between them has been scheduled and subsequently fallen through.
In a symbolic gesture, superstar Conor “Notorious” McGregor recently posted a picture of him kicking the “coronavirus.”
Here is the picture:
McGregor’s caption reads, “Take that, [coronavirus].”
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It’s Unclear Who Conor McGregor Will Fight Next in the UFC
Before the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, it was unclear who McGregor was going to fight next. And now that events have been canceled and uncertainty is rampant, Notorious’ next move is even more muddled. He has been linked to several opponents, and it appears to have boiled down to two front-runners, Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje, or the winner of Khabib and Ferguson.
McGregor is currently ranked at No. 3 in the lightweight division, and The Highlight is ranked at No. 4. Many fans and analysts have called for a fight between the two to determine the next contender for a lightweight title shot.
Gaethje is currently on a three-fight win streak with finishes over Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza and James Vick. McGregor got back on the winning track when he defeated Cerrone at UFC 246 in January by first-round TKO.
A fight between these two athletes has all the makings for a fantastic main event on a UFC PPV, and having this fight headline July’s International Fight Week could do great business for the promotion. But, because of the coronavirus, nothing is for certain.