The UFC is heading back to Las Vegas for its event on May 30 headlined by former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. It follows three straight events in Jacksonville, Florida, due to restrictions put in place around the country by the COVID-19 crisis.
UFC president Dana White told the Las Vegas Review-Journal early Wednesday that it would be at Apex Facility in southwest Las Vegas.
“We are a go on the 30th,” White said in a text message around 12:30 a.m., per the Review-Journal. No fans will be allowed at the UFC event.
Woodley will face Gilbert Burns, who announced his inclusion on the card Tuesday. But they were still without a confirmed venue as the company hadn’t determined if they could do it in Las Vegas as planned due to the COVID-19 crisis.
White said he hoped to get the event approved by the state of Nevada, which began loosening restrictions the first full week of May. But there has been no formal announcement in regards to sports with the Nevada Athletic Commission’s suspension of all combat sports events still in place.
If Nevada didn’t approve it, he said he would move it to Arizona where Gov. Doug Ducey has been open to hosting professional games. Ducey said Tuesday sports could resume without fans starting over the weekend.
UFC hosted three televised events so far this month in Florida during the COVID-19 crisis after the state’s governor deemed professional sports as “essential services.”
UFC 249 faced scrutiny when a fighter and two of his cornermen tested positive for the coronavirus and again in a post-event report. White said the company got better at safety with each fight, and it would be safest to hold them at their home base. Via the Review-Journal:
“It makes more sense with what’s going on for us to be doing the events at our own arena,” he said in Jacksonville. “It will be a lot safer for my employees, the fighters, everyone. I hope to have fights there this month.”
UFC 250 between Felicia Spencer and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes is also expected to be held in Las Vegas on June 6 if the facility gives the formal go-ahead.
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