Justin Gaethje overcomes Tony Ferguson to claim interim UFC lightweight title during Covid-19 lockdown
UFC 249 has been the talk of the sporting world. It's been shrouded in controversy ever since Dana White claimed he was buying a private island to host UFC fights. The initial UFC 249 fight card had to be cancelled after Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed he was unable to leave Russia because of the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.
However, Tony Ferguson's planned UFC 249 fight soon turned into an interim title fight between Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
Sadly for Ferguson, the last minute replacement Gaethje bested him in five rounds and a late TKO to collect a championship belt in Florida. The contest stopped by referee Herb Dean in the fifth round after Ferguson took damage after damage and was heavily bloodied and battered.
Gaethje will now have a shot at fighting the lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, controversy surrounded the fight after news outlets in the United States got their hands on the fighters contracts. According to a contract obtained by Yahoo Sports that UFC 249 fighters had to sign, they face the potential loss of their purse and any financial bonuses they may earn if they defame or disparage the UFC over its health and safety protocols.
One of the bouts had to be cancelled after Jacare Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive. His fight with Uriah Hall was cancelled after he informed UFC officials that he had a family member whom he believed had contracted the virus.
Breaking: Jacare Souza has tested positive for Covid-19. His fight against Uriah Hall is off UFC 249. UFC 249 still planning to move forward, with consent of Florida commission per UFC. https://t.co/YjNvCzi64a— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 9, 2020
The next events will be held on Wednesday, May 13, and Saturday, May 16, making three events in eight days. Dana White later added that a fourth event would take place on May 23.
Speaking about getting the go ahead on May 9, White said: “Listen I’m not stopping. I have this thing figured out. The reality is can it be done? Yes, it can be done. It’s just very expensive. It’s very expensive and I’m willing to spend the money to do it.