In the past few days, UFC president Dana White has seemed to confirm rumors that the organization is looking to secure the legal rights to use a private island in order to host UFC 249. With the coronavirus pandemic still keeping our sports from carrying on, the chances of holding the fight in the United States felt non-existent. Now, new reports suggest that the UFC has secured the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in California's Central Valley for their next for scheduled events, beginning on April 18 with the card headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
So, what should fans know about this venue?
What is the Tachi Palace Casino Resort?
Located on the Santa Rosa Rancheria Native American reservation, Tachi Palace is a casino that doubles as a hotel, and opened up back in 1983. Tachi Palace also has a venue inside to designated for live events and entertainment. In addition to concerts and comedy shows, Tachi Palace has also hosted MMA events in the past, and was actually the birthplace of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), where notable fighters such as Uriah Faber, Jose Aldo, and Dominick Cruz made their mark before entering the UFC.
Where is Tachi Palace Located?
Tachi Palace is located in the central California town of Lemoore, which sits about 31 miles away from Fresno. Given that Tachi Palace is built on tribal lands, it can bypass certain restrictions that other jurisdictions would face. The UFC can get around the stay-at-home order from California Governor Gavin Newsom, and also does not require sanctioning from the California State Athletic Commission in order to hold professional fights.
It may not be the most popular decision all around, as state governments all over are urging everyone to adhere to social distancing practices and stay home. However, Dana White will not be deterred, and has reportedly found a way to get around those restrictions. Some fans will surely be encouraged by the fact that Tachi Palace has an impressive MMA history, but most of us will be holding our collective breaths that UFC 249 can happen without contributing to the spread of COVID-19.