UFC boss Dana White has confirmed a major title fight will take place "somewhere on earth" this month after selecting Khabib Nurmagomedov's stand-in.

Justin Gaethje has been installed as the replacement for lightweight champion Nurmagomedov at UFC 249.
Gaethje will now take on Tony Ferguson in an interim title bout on 18 April.

White confirmed the contest and date on his Twitter account 24 hours after ruling Nurmagomedov out of the bout.

White wrote: "The fight is signed and is 100% ON LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH!!!!"

The Russian, who beat Conor McGregor in 2018, had returned to Dagestan from the United States as the coronavirus outbreak spread and travel restrictions have now been imposed in his homeland.

Nurmagomedov and number-one contender Ferguson have been due to meet on a series of occasions but the fight has never taken place because of illness, injury and now the pandemic.

Ferguson, 36, will take on his 31-year-old fellow American - who is ranked as fourth in the list of contenders - for the interim lightweight title.

UFC 249 had been scheduled to take place in New York. the US epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, but White told ESPN that he had secured a a new venue and that he was "going to continue to pump fights out" on a regular basis on a private island.

"I’ve got an island," he said. ‘"The infrastructure is being built right now."

"I won't be able to get all of the international fighters into the US so I'm going to start flying them off into the island and do international fights there.

"When we do this fight on 18 April, international and US, we’re going to start cranking. The UFC will be back up and running."

"I have this venue for two months, and I'm setting up shop here. We're going to be pumping out fights every week."