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Report: UFC trying to get Aldo and Shogun to the US with UFC 250 card in peril

With the increasing likelihood that UFC 250 won’t go ahead in Sao Paulo due to Brazil’s increasing COVID-19 restrictions, the UFC is hoping to get their biggest Brazilian stars to the states instead.

UFC 245: Moraes v Aldo Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Just exactly where the UFC is going to find the space to put on events still remains a mystery. And it seems that possible locations are quickly being crossed off the list, as state and national governments grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and how to keep the disease from spreading. Potential plans to move UFC 249 to Abu Dhabi fizzled, California won’t be holding events until the end of May (at least), and even Nevada isn’t giving the UFC leeway to host events at their Las Vegas Apex facility.

Now it seems like the promotion may have to add Brazil to the list. It appears that, due to Brazil’s Coronavirus precautions, the UFC’s May 9th PPV likely won’t be allowed to go ahead as planned. Instead, while the Sports Department of the State of Sao Paulo has not apparently made a final decision on UFC 250 yet, Combate reports that the UFC is already looking at moving the card to the US. Their sources also say that UFC officials have reached out to Jose Aldo and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua about securing travel to the US in preparation for the card’s change in location. Although other Brazilian fighters on the card have apparently not yet been contacted about a possible change in plans.

In a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s A-Side chat show, bantamweight top contender Cory Sandhagen revealed that he’s been preparing for just such an eventuality. The Colorado-based fighter says he’d even be willing to step in for Aldo against Henry Cejudo on “a week’s notice” if needed. That could be just the kind of contingency plan the UFC needs, if they can even find a place stateside to hold the event.

UFC 250 had been expected to be headlined by a pair of title fights, with Jose Aldo challenging Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight belt and Felicia Spencer challenging Amanda Nunes for her featherweight strap. Nunes and Spencer have both campaigned for the card to move to Florida, but even that may not be a realistic option a month from now.