UPDATED 10:00 p.m. ET: According to The New York Times' Kevin Draper, UFC 249 will take place on tribal land in Central California. The matches are set to go down at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort "belonging to the Tachi-Yokut Tribe, part of the federally recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community."
That casino has been closed because of the coronavirus since March 20. The bouts related to the event are still on for April 18.
Draper goes on to state that this development will allow the company to maneuver around "widespread federal and state guidelines" that bar large gatherings during the pandemic.
Holding the event on tribal land will put the UFC outside the jurisdiction of the California State Athletic Commission.
As written by MMA Junkie, Tachi Palace had hosted MMA events before California legalized the sport in 2006.
The resort is located just outside Lemoor, California, and sits less than 40 miles south of Fresno.
Originally, UFC 249 was set to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
See original story below.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, the president of the UFC said that he's "a day or two away from securing" a deal that would allow fights to go down on a private island. "We're getting the infrastructure put in now so I'ma start doing the international fights too," White said.
Dana is taking the UFC to the islands ✈️🏝 pic.twitter.com/nIp1XeshMW— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 7, 2020
Although he didn't divulge the island's location, he did say that fighters would be flown there on private jets. White went on to say that all people involved, from the fighters to staff, would be screened by a medical team to ensure everyone's safety. There will be no fans on the island for said fights.
White's attempt to get a private island for UFC fights was met with mixed reactions and jokes.
Fight Island sounds like some Mortal Kombat type shit and I fucking love it. #ufc— MMA G-Regsss (@MMAGreg1) April 7, 2020
Khabib/Ferguson 6 #UFC: Private Island will be cancelled because of Category 5 Hurricane.— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) April 7, 2020
Future Headline: Multiple nations claim to have no jurisdictional responsibility to help evacuate COVID-19 stricken UFC Island. https://t.co/Wlv3ZENOef— Ashley: Fujoshi Princess (@AshleyUncia) April 7, 2020
According to reliable sources, Dana White has confirmed that Shang Tsungs Island will be the host location of UFC 24. Fight announcements to come shortly as well pic.twitter.com/5jUeZGQyAf— LivershotLandy (@Keithland00) April 6, 2020
The updated card for UFC 249, which is still scheduled to air on April 18 and will not occur at the aforementioned island, was also revealed on Monday with Justin Gaethje replacing Khabib Nurmagomedov. On the subject of UFC 249's location, White told TMZ it will happen on "ESPN."
The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!!!! 😃@TonyFergusonXT vs @Justin_Gaethje is LIVE on @espn+ PPV April 18th for the interim lightweight belt! pic.twitter.com/aH44zg5K30— danawhite (@danawhite) April 6, 2020