The UFC will return in full force on May 9 with an official card now confirmed.
“I can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans, “ White said in a press release. “I want to give a big thanks to Mayor [Lenny] Curry, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director Patrick Cunningham for getting this thing done and giving us a venue to put on these incredible cards, as well our media partners including ESPN and ESPN+, for bringing it to fans. My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”
The main card will air on pay-per-view with the entire preliminary card airing live on ESPN with the Florida State Boxing Commission overseeing the event.
“Florida’s State Commission and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation have been in continued coordination with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to identify options for bringing the UFC to Florida for upcoming events,” Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director, Patrick Cunningham said in a statement.
“Florida welcomes the UFC to the Sunshine State, and our commission stands ready to sanction the events to be held on May 9, 13 and 16. Health and safety protocols will be in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all individuals who are helping to make these events possible. With this triple date feature of UFC events coming in May, Florida is continuing to build a strong collaboration with UFC that sets the foundation for more opportunities that we hope UFC will choose to host in our state in the months to come.”
The main event at UFC 249 will be an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Originally expected to meet on April 18, the lightweights will now clash on May 9 with the winner moving onto a title unification bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year.
Henry Cejudo will put his bantamweight title up for grabs in the co-main event against former champion Dominick Cruz, who will be making his return to action for the first time in just under four years.
The preliminary card on ESPN will be headlined by a lightweight rematch between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Anthony Pettis. In their first meeting in 2013, Pettis finished Cerrone with a nasty kick to the body in the opening round.
Now Cerrone will seek to avenge that loss seven years later while also attempting to bounce back from a loss to Conor McGregor in his last outing.
Here’s the full card for UFC 249 fight card:
UFC 249 MAIN CARD (pay-per-view on ESPN+)
MAIN EVENT: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje (interim lightweight title fight)
CO-MAIN EVENT: Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz (bantamweight title fight)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN)
FEATURED PRELIM: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Uriah Hall