Las Vegas, March 17: Khabib Nurmagomedov's lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson in UFC 249 will go ahead despite the next three events being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dana White has announced.
UFC Fight Night 170 in Brasilia last Saturday (March 14) had to be contested behind closed doors, while the situation in the United Kingdom led to UFC London, which was scheduled for March 21, also being relocated.
UFC president White managed to find an alternate location and a replacement for Leon Edwards, who was due to face former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, which was reportedly Gilbert Burns.
However, after the United States president Donald Trump on Monday (March 16) ordered against gatherings of more than 10 people, White was forced to cancel the next three cards.
He remains confident Nurmagomedov's meeting with Ferguson – which has not happened previously despite being slated on four separate occasions – will go ahead, even if it has to be moved from Brooklyn to a different country.
"We're ready to go on Saturday from Fire Lake Arena, Indian reservation in Oklahoma City. We have the card, we have the fighters, we have everything," White said on ESPN.
"But obviously the president just spoke to the country and basically said now – it started at 50 people in a room which made it difficult so we complied, we took all the fans out and we made sure there were as few production people in the room as possible. But we pulled it off last Saturday. Now there saying there should be no more than 10 in a room.
"That's impossible. We can't do it. We've complied with everything the government and doctors have said to do and we have no choice now but to postpone these fights.
"So we're postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, April 18, is still on and that will still happen.
"These three fights that are postponed, they will still happen. And Khabib-Tony is on for the original date. We're gonna keep fighting."
He added: "We're gonna follow these guidelines and we're hoping this all clears up by April. This fight (Nurmagomedov versus Ferguson) is gonna happen, no crowd, whatever it takes. It's probably not gonna be in the United States, but it's gonna happen."
Woodley stated he was now turning his attention to a meeting with Colby Covington
"When we are back up and running it'll be me and Clout Chasing Covington. Don't want to hear another name!" Woodley posted on Instagram.
Edwards was unwilling to let him get away, though, saying on Twitter: "Tell that boy he can't run from me his a** whooping is just delayed."