With the sporting world virtually suspended due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the UFC has promised to do what they can to deliver fights. The promotion’s president, Dana White, confirmed this past weekend that UFC 249’s main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will happen, even if it’s not in the United States. However, the next three shows have all been postponed.
Recently, Conor McGregor’s coach, Owen Roddy, revealed information that could potentially revitalize the UFC. During the interview, Helwani asked Roddy if Conor McGregor will return to the Octagon on July 11 in Las Vegas.
Roddy said, “Most definitely, that’s the plan hopefully. Bring the UFC back to life as well. You know with all these shows being canceled and stuff like that, I think a fight on July 11 would bring the UFC back to life and get everybody back on track. My fingers are crossed and I’m sure the rest of the world’s fingers are crossed for that fight.”
In terms of an opponent, Roddy said, “Anyone to be honest, but maybe [Justin] Gaethje. There’s a lot of talk [about Justin] Gaethje. He’s an exciting fighter, so I would like to see it and I’m sure you would like to see, and I’m sure the rest of the world would like to see it also. [But] to be honest, anyone. I know Conor’s raring to go. I know everyone’s going to be raring to go by the time July comes around.”
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Conor McGregor vs. Justin Gaethje Makes a Lot of Sense
As per the official UFC lightweight rankings, Conor McGregor is No. 3 and Justin Gaethje is No. 4. A fight between the two could establish the legitimate next contender to fight for the lightweight championship.
The style matchup between the two should be entertaining as well. Gaethje a powerful, forward-pressure fighter with ferocious striking and stellar cardio. McGregor is a phenomenal counter striker with extreme power and a dynamic arsenal.
It’s Unclear if UFC 249’s Khabib vs. Ferguson Will Happen
Even though the UFC is adamant that UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov will fight the No. 1 lightweight contender Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson on April 18, it’s unclear if that will be a possibility.
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and how long it will affect sports. As of right now, the White House recommends that there should be no more than 10 people gathering in one area. Public health professionals have said that the spread of COVID-19 will get worse before it gets better.
Dana White said that holding UFC 249 outside of the United States is an option, but since the coronavirus is a global pandemic, it’s unclear where a suitable location would be.