With the constantly changing current regulatory landscape in the US, as states attempt to manage their pandemic responses and potentially re-open their economies, the UFC has found an opportunity to once again start putting on fight cards. But, for just how long will that opportunity last? That’s anyone’s guess.
To that end, the UFC appears to be taking full advantage of their fortunate circumstances, incase another wave of pandemic-induced lockdown hits. The promotion sent out a press release shortly after word broke that they were hosting their May 9th UFC 249 PPV in Jacksonville, FL. In the press release, the UFC revealed that they are now planning events for May 13th and May 16th as well. These events will all be closed to the public and, from the sound of things, will all be hosted at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
“I can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans, “said UFC President Dana White. “I want to give a big thanks to Mayor Curry, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director Patrick Cunninghamfor getting this thing done and giving us a venue to put on these incredible cards, as well our media partners including ESPN and ESPN+, for bringing it to fans. My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”
Three events in one week is hardly unheard of territory for the world’s largest MMA promotion. In past years, they’ve hosted three events in just three days for their annual “International Fight Week.”
Additionally, however – while speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (h/t Marc Raimondi) – Dana White also revealed that the promotion would be looking to put on a May 23rd fight card as well. Whether or not it will be at the same Florida location remains to be seen. After those shows, it sounds like the whole production will move over to “Fight Island” for the foreseeable future. And the UFC will be doing its best to catch up on the shows they’ve had to cancel.
White: We’re gonna catch up to our regular schedule and then we’ll be off and running. Keep the dates we have, hopefully.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) April 24, 2020
With more than two weeks until fight time, that’s still a lot of opportunities for the regulatory picture in Florida to change—and take away the UFC’s latest batch of plans with it. But, for the moment, it appears that all parties are full steam ahead on getting live sports back on TV screens.