When the UFC returned to action in May, it went to the state of Florida, which declared sports as an essential service amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This opened the door for WWE to resume taping shows, while the NBA and MLS are presently in Orlando for the remainder of their respective seasons.
A mere two months later, Florida has gone from 8th to 3rd in total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, with nearly 370,000 in total as of July 21st. For context, South Africa has the 5th highest number of global cases at 373,000.
It is because of Florida’s drastic uptick in COVID cases that Combate Americas MMA is not quite ready to get back into the cage. The promotion intended to host events from a Miami television studio starting August 28th, but CEO Campbell McLaren announced that they’ve opted to postpone indefinitely.
“This is not a decision we took lightly, and is based entirely on our focus to prioritize the safety of our employees, broadcast partners, fighters and the broader MMA community,” McLaren said (via ESPN). “We explored many alternatives to avoid this measure, including the possibility of moving our in-studio fights to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the state of California is in a similarly precarious situation with COVID outbreaks, and it seems untenable to proceed without taking into consideration the health of those we love.”
Combate Americas has not run a show since February 28th, roughly two weeks before the World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus to be a global pandemic. Other North American based promotions like Invicta FC, Titan FC, and Legacy Fighting Alliance have held events in recent weeks. Bellator MMA is slated to return from Connecticut on July 24th, while PFL postponed its third season until 2021.