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As the world is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, live sports are starting to return. In South Korea, professional baseball is back in action. And in the United States, both NASCAR and UFC will start hosting televised events without fans.
The first of these events, UFC 249, is set to go down at 10 PM EST on Saturday, May 9, from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
A lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje will headline the pay-per-view event. Due to the pandemic, Ferguson will take on Gaethje instead of current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. That said, his new opponent is not one to scoff at — he’s ranked fourth, just one spot below Conor McGregor.
How can you watch UFC 249?
So how can you tune in? The title card is available via ESPN+. The network will also broadcast the prelims on regular ESPN stations starting at 6 PM EST. For more information on streaming the event through ESPN, check out their guide here.
If you’re in the United Kingdom, BT Sport 1 is your best bet.
What’s the full fight card?
- Lightweight interim title bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
- Bantamweight title bout: Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz
- Heavyweight bout: Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Featherweight bout: Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar
- Heavyweight bout: Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro
What are the storylines to follow?
Aside from the Ferguson v. Gaethje bout — the winner of which will almost certainly get Nurmagomedov — UFC 249 presents a few other noteworthy matchups. For non-UFC regulars, ex-NFL defensive lineman Greg Hardy is a familiar face. He’ll take on Yorgan de Castro in a heavyweight fight as he tries to prove himself in the UFC.
Henry Cejudo’s fight with Dominick Cruz is also worth mentioning, as Cejudo will defend his belt for the first time against a two-time champion in Cruz. Saturday’s slate promises a lot of action, and right when sports fans need it most.