By Alistair Hendrie
There is a warm feeling in the air as we approach Saturday’s twice-postponed UFC 249 card which will be headlined by Tony Ferguson against Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title. The UFC has the backing of the Florida State Athletic Commission, has implemented social distancing procedures and is providing daily tests for coronavirus. So far, so good.
That aura of hope is exacerbated by a thrilling main event between Ferguson, ranked number one in the world, and Gaethje, ranked number four. We all have memories of watching a 25-minute staring contest which started to cries of “This can’t fail to be a war!” but this pair of 155ers are guaranteeing entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is going to be like Mortal Kombat,” said Gaethje, 31. “It’s perfect and it will be a f***ing war.”
“This is why we’re main event,” agreed Ferguson, 36. “We’re the best of the best and we’re going to go out there and keep sports alive.”
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For more UFC 249 coverage, take in Dominick Cruz's thoughts on fighting for a greater purpose during coronavirus
Check out Alistair Hendrie’s Kindle book, Fight Game: The Untold Story of Women’s MMA in Britain, featuring insight from Rosi Sexton, Joanne Calderwood and more