After a month of uncertainty and scrutiny due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC announced its re-tooled UFC 249 card on Monday, headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
A title fight rematch between former strawweight champions Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas received second billing on what amounted to a pretty solid card for the April 18 event given the circumstances.
However, Namajunas has reportedly dropped out for undisclosed reasons, and no replacement has been determined to face Andrade. The event is scheduled to take place in 10 days.
Rose Namajunas is out of her scheduled bout with Jessica Andrade at #UFC249 for undisclosed reasons, first reported by Combate and confirmed with sources by ESPN on Wednesday.— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 8, 2020
No replacement has been set yet to fight Andrade. (via @marc_raimondi, @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/mrfUsSJHC6
Namajunas won the strawweight championship against Joanna Jędrzejczyk in Nov. 2017, but lost it to Andrade last year via second-round knockout. Andrade then lost the belt to current champion Zhang Weili.
UFC 249 is reportedly set to be held next week at Tachi Palace Casino Resort, which is located on tribal land in central California. The location allows the UFC to skirt a mandate from California Gov. Gavin Newsom forbidding large gatherings as the coronavirus continues to hit the state.
We’ll see who ends up replacing Namajunas, and if the former champion’s next fight ends up being on the UFC’s reported private island.
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