Justin Gaethje will combat Tony Ferguson after stepping in to switch Khabib Nurmagomedov because the headline act of UFC 249.
The UFC predominant occasion has been plagued with issues as the game struggles to adapt to life throughout the international coronavirus pandemic.
Solely on the morning of the present, one of many fighters, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, needed to pull out after testing constructive for COVID-19.
However boss Dana White has been decided to placed on a present for the followers and the motion will go forward on Might 9.
Nurmagomedov needed to pull out of the unique date as he stays in lockdown in Russia and he won’t be at this weekend’s conflict both.
White has confirmed Gaethje will take his place however who’s the brand new headliner?
Who’s Justin Gaethje?
Justin Ray Gaethje started wrestling on the age of 4 earlier than attending Safford Excessive College and turning into a two-time Arizona state champion.
Gaethje, an orthodox light-weight fighter, made his professional MMA debut in August 2011 with a knockout win over Kevin Croom.
He has had 23 profession fights to this point, profitable 21 occasions with 18 knockouts.
Now 31 years previous, Gaethje’s final combat was a TKO win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in September 2019.
His two losses got here towards Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 in December 2017 and Dustin Poirier in April 2018.
The upcoming conflict with Ferguson shall be Gaethje’s first main headline combat and simply his second UFC predominant occasion.
Following his victory over Cerrone, Gaethje demanded a combat with the winner of Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson.
Justin Gaethje ‘hopes’ Tony Ferguson breaks his nostril at UFC 249 – however vows to KO ‘El Cucuy’
Albeit in extraordinary circumstances, the Arizona-born fighter has acquired his want.
He stated final 12 months: “I need to combat for the world title. I need to show I’m one of the best on this planet. I need the winner of Tony and Khabib. In order that’s what’s subsequent.”
Conor McGregor was beforehand touted as a possible late alternative for Nurmagomedov at UFC 249.
With the corporate choosing Gaethje, a combat between him and the Infamous may occur additional down the road.
Requested about McGregor, Gaethje added: “I completely would like to combat him.”
McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, desires his fighter to tackle Gaethje at welterweight later this 12 months.
He stated: “Justin Gaethje at 170 [Ibs] could be my private choice. He’s one other light-weight, however neither of them have to chop weight.
“The imaginative and prescient is getting that 155lb belt again, so it’s a step towards that. I don’t see the explanation for him to chop weight except there’s a belt on the road, in any other case why would he do it?
“Keep at this weight, don’t minimize weight after which when the large one comes alongside, shed the final 15 kilos.”