UFC 249 was originally scheduled to take place on April 18, but Disney shut it down due to COVID-19. Less than one month later, the event will now take place and will be headlined by Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje. Here's how to watch the UFC's first live event since March 14.
The highly-anticipated event will air on ESPN+. The preliminaries will begin at 6 p.m. ET and will be available to subscribers of the streaming platform or on ESPN. The main card, which is a pay-per-view, begins at 10 p.m. ET. Subscribers of ESPN+ will have to pay $64.99 to access UFC 249. New subscribers can purchase a year of the streaming platform and the pay-per-view for $84.98. They can also opt to pay $64.99 by taking part in a free trial.
The main card will be highlighted by Ferguson and Gaethje facing off for the interim lightweight title. However, there are several other big bouts to draw their attention. Henry Cejudo will be defending his bantamweight title against an MMA legend in Dominick Cruz. This is the co-main event and is being called a "potential upset" by retired UFC fighter Chael Sonnen.
"Cejudo vs. Cruz has the makings of an upset written all over it," Sonnen said, per ESPN. "Henry is the better wrestler, for sure, but when's the last time you saw him use his wrestling in a fight? He always has had a hard time closing the distance, and Dominick is so good at keeping the distance, using that footwork, making you work. Henry's got good hands, but the only time Dominick's ever been hurt in a standup fight is against Cody Garbrandt. If you threw that fight out, you'd have no frame of reference of Dominick ever being beaten on his feet.
"I don't know if I'm ready to call for an upset," Sonnen continued. "History says the younger guy that's more active beats the older guy who's been sitting out, but boy, it's very easy to see the fight going all 25 minutes and Dominick Cruz winning three or four of those rounds." Cruz's last fight took place on Dec. 30, 2016, and he lost to Cody Garbrandt by unanimous decision.
The main card is rounded out by three big-name fights. Francis Ngannou will face off with Jairzinho Rozenstruik while Jeremy Stephens takes on Calvin Kattar. Additionally, former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy will return to the octagon for a fight against Yorgan De Castro. There will be one major change to the UFC 249 schedule. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza has been pulled from the fight card after testing positive for the coronavirus. He was previously scheduled to face off with Uriah Hall during the preliminaries.