UFC returning to competition with 3 shows in Florida

The UFC is returning to competitors on Could 9 for 3 reveals with out followers in eight days in Jacksonville, Fla.

The combined martial arts promotion introduced its plans Friday to return to motion after suspending and cancelling a number of reveals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UFC 249 might be held Could 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Enviornment in Jacksonville with no followers in attendance. The pay-per-view present will nonetheless be headlined by Tony Ferguson’s interim light-weight title bout in opposition to Justin Gaethje.

UFC President Dana White additionally plans to carry reveals on Could 13 and Could 16 on the similar enviornment in northern Florida. Solely “important personnel” might be within the enviornment, in line with White.

“I am unable to wait to ship some nice fights for the followers,” White stated in a press release. “My workforce is able to go and the fighters are excited to get again in there with these back-to-back occasions.”

The UFC has been out of motion since holding a full struggle card in an empty enviornment in Brazil on March 14. However White has been decided to return to motion whereas the remainder of the sports activities world stays shut down.

UFC 249 initially scheduled for April

UFC 249 was nearly held on tribal land in central California on April 18, however the show was postponed April 9 on the insistence of ESPN and Disney, the UFC’s broadcast companions. Distinguished California state officers have been against the UFC’s plan to carry a present there. Nevertheless, the promotion’s plans have happy Florida officers, together with the Florida State Boxing Fee, which regulates MMA within the state.

“The UFC group is a famend leisure model that is introduced a secure and wise plan to make use of this Jacksonville location, and we’re thrilled to have our metropolis highlighted nationally,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry stated.

ESPN is also on board with White’s present plan, in line with a press release issued by the community: “Sports activities play an vital function in folks’s lives and might convey moments of escape in difficult instances. We look ahead to bringing UFC to followers once more.”

Precautionary measures in place

The UFC issued a quick assertion about its well being and security precautions for the reveals in Florida. The promotion says all athletes and workers might be held to “various precautionary measures, similar to collaborating in superior medical screenings and temperature checks and following social distancing pointers.”

UFC 249 will embrace two title fights, with bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo defending his belt in opposition to former champion Dominick Cruz. The cardboard additionally features a heavyweight bout between contenders Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, together with a matchup of veteran contenders Anthony Pettis and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

Just a few UFC fighters have voiced concern about White’s dedication to maintain combating amid the pandemic, and most have been publicly wanting to return regardless of the worldwide well being considerations. MMA fighters historically do not receives a commission except they compete, though Bellator and different promotions have given support to their fighters in latest weeks after shutting down.

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