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NSAC: UFC on ESPN 9 ‘extremely successful’ regarding COVID-19 protocol

The Nevada State Athletic Commission was happy with the UFC’s performance at UFC on ESPN 9.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission approved the UFC for two events in Las Vegas during a meeting that was held via phone on Wednesday, May 27. The approval of those events, the first of which took place on Saturday, came with an NSAC mandated COVID-19 protocol document. The requirements of that document were more stringent than those the UFC used — and had difficulty following — in Jacksonville for three events earlier in May. The NSAC seems happy with what it saw from the promotion on Saturday at the UFC Apex.

“The 5/30 UFC event was held in accordance with NSAC protocols and the UFC’s Operational Plan which was approved by the NSAC. The event was extremely successful. The UFC went to great lengths and expenses to ensure all personnel were in compliance with COVID-19 precautionary measures and were in compliance with all regulatory and governmental requirements for a closed system event,” the NSAC told Bloody Elbow.

Some major upgrades in the NSAC COVID-19 protocol document:

  • Improved quarantine requirements pending COVID-19 test results
  • Utilization of a “closed system” for the events
  • Documented protocol for entering and exiting the closed system
  • Contact tracing
  • Documented protocol for reacting to a positive COVID-19 test, which includes two weeks quarantine in Nevada
  • Post-event care plan including post-event testing
  • Mask requirements
  • Discipline for those who do not adhere to NSAC COVID-19 protocol
  • Post-fight interviews did not take place face to face

The UFC didn’t do the best job enforcing the protocols it wrote for the Jacksonville events. The success in Las Vegas should make fighters and others involved with upcoming Las Vegas events feel more confident about the upcoming UFC 250 and other fights that will take place at UFC Apex.

Bloody Elbow asked the UFC which protocol it will follow for any events scheduled for “Fight Island.” The UFC did not respond before publication.