UFC 249 Taking Place on Tribal Land in Central California

  • UFC 249 will take place at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Central California
  • Events will be held on tribal land to bypass California's executive order banning mass gatherings
  • Tachi Palace Casino Resort has been closed since March 20
  • Dana White allegedly purchased a private island to host events featuring international fighters
UFC belt
UFC 249 will reportedly take place on tribal land in Central Calfornia to bypass the current restrictions that are in place across North America to contain coronavirus. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A controversial move

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bypassing coronavirus restrictions in North America by holding UFC 249 on tribal land in Central California.

UFC president Dana White believes that the mixed martial arts event can be held in a safe manner. Without disclosing where UFC 249 would take place, White previously said: “This place where this fight is going to be on April 18 I have locked up for two months, so I’m going to continue to pump fights out.”

bypassing coronavirus restrictions in North America by holding UFC 249 on tribal land

However, the New York Times has since reported that this location will be the Tachi Palace Casino Resort. This facility is close to Lemoore, California, which is approximately 40 miles away from Fresno.

As an official announcement has not yet been made by the UFC, the primary source for this information wished to remain anonymous.

Facility owned by Tachi-Yokut tribe

The casino has been closed since the evening of March 20 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The land is owned by the Tachi-Yokut tribe, which belongs to the fedorally recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community. 

By hosting UFC events on tribal land, the organization does not have to comply with the executive order in California that orders people to stay in their homes. 

As UFC 249 will reportedly be taking place on tribal land, the California Athletic Commission does not have to approve or sanction the fights. All fights sanctioned by the commission have been canceled until the end of May.

Khabib won’t be involved

To date, three events have been canceled by the UFC due to the coronavirus pandemic. UFC 249 was originally earmarked for April 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The main event was a highly-anticipated lightweight championship bout between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo restricted mass gatherings in the city and the New York State Athletic Commission refused to authorize the fights, Dana White said the organization would hold the event at a different location. 

However, Nurmagomedov will no longer feature on the fight card. He is at home in Dagestan, Russia, and unable to leave the country. This is the fifth time these two fighters were supposed to fight before it was scrapped. 

Search for alternative locations

The UFC has been looking at all possible ways to skirt around the restrictions. This includes purchasing a private island to hold events for international fighters who cannot enter the US.

purchasing a private island to hold events for international fighters who cannot enter the US

As per federal guidelines, large gatherings are banned as the pandemic continues, one of the main reasons why most sporting events have been canceled

Won’t be the venue’s first fight night

There have been other instances of tribal casinos hosting boxing and mixed martial arts fights that will not be sanctioned by official state fighting commissions.

The Tachi Palace Casino Resort has previously held fight nights for the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) organization. It was in 2006 that the facility was bought by Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *