UPDATE: UFC 249 has officially been canceled, all events postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UFC is reportedly “planning to use Tachi Palace Casino Resort” in Lemoore, CA, as its venue for UFC 249 on April 18 and possibly future PPV cards “starting this month.” Sources confirmed that the resort is “set to host UFC 249 on April 18 without fans present.” Since it is on Tachi-Yokut tribal land, it is “not required to adhere to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shelter-in-place order.” It also “doesn’t have to adhere to state sports regulations, including the California State Athletic Commission’s decision to suspend all combat sports events through at least May”. However, the CSAC said it won’t supply ringside officials or physicians for any UFC restart before the suspension is lifted. (via FRESNO BEE)
UFC President Dana White is confident that everyone involved in upcoming events will be safe as he told ESPN.
“Anyone who shows up to this event and who is a part of it will be safer than anyone who is sitting at home in their house,” he said. “They’re going to have access to the best medical attention, the best doctors, the best treatment that they can possibly get.
“You’re safer being at this event with me than actually being at home or going to the grocery store. I promise you that. All these people who are allowed to go to the grocery store, you’re going to be a lot safer at my event than going to the grocery store.”
White indicated that the prospective deal to hold fights on a private island that garnered headlines earlier this week will be strictly for international fights events.