UFC President Dana White Is Planning May 9th Return
Whilst most of the sporting world has come to a grinding hold over the last couple of months, almost everyday has been a rollercoaster ride for UFC fans. In particular, the UFC 249 saga. Which had us all constantly looking at our phones to see if there had been any news on whether the card would go ahead as planned on April 18th, or not. In the end, the coronavirus pandemic was too much for Dana White to overcome.
Not deterred, the UFC president is still pushing on with getting the show back on, as soon as possible. When he finally postponed UFC 249 last week, Dana ensured that the infrastructure was being put in place on his Fight Island, to get international fight cards started in around one month’s time.
Fast forward a few days and in the last few minutes, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has taken to social media to announce that Dana has confirmed that the UFC is aiming to return on May 9th. This was the original date for UFC 250, which had been scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo, in Brazil.
According to Okamoto, some of the matchups being lined up include Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje, Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz, Amanda Nunes vs Felicia Spencer, Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik and ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis.
This would indicate that the UFC is still looking to make Ferguson vs Gaethje in the short term, rather than waiting five months for Khabib vs Tony.
There was no mention of location, or whether the goal is still to hold it on the Fight Island. Yesterday it was revealed that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had given the WWE a green light to continue putting on shows behind closed doors at their Performance Center in Orlando, after adding it to their list of ‘essential services’. This is obviously encouraging news for the UFC.
Dana’s announcement comes one day after Progress Oncologist and Bioethicist Zeke Emanuel, who is the brother of Endeavor co-CEO and UFC owner Ari Emanuel, told the New York Times that it could be another 15 months before we could see large gatherings, such as MMA events, resume as normal.
“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner.
“Larger gatherings, conferences, concerts, sporting events, when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
According to Okamoto, this is the how the May 9th card looks, as of now.
Speaking to Variety, Dana White has just stated that the UFC will begin to hold events at their APEX facility in Las Vegas, from next month.
Remind yourself of every single up and down of the crazy rollercoaster of a ride that was the UFC 249 saga, here: