Shortly after revealing a stacked fight card for a UFC event slated to take place on May 9, UFC President Dana White on Tuesday revealed that he intends to run events in Las Vegas beginning in May.
Upon announcing the May 9 target for the promotion’s return to operations, White again sidestepped any talk of where the event would be held, instead focusing on the fights.
The May 9 event does not yet have a moniker, but is targeted to feature the revamped UFC 249 main event pitting Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC lightweight title. White also hopes to sign bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo to fight former titleholder Dominick Cruz, as well as a UFC 250 bout that would see women’s featherweight titleholder Amanda Nunes defending against Felicia Spencer.
Most speculation has focused on the May 9 event happening somewhere in the United States, possibly in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has cleared the path for professional sports to return to action, as long as events are not open to the general public. The professional wrestling organization WWE has already begun operating at its private facility in Florida. The UFC could easily follow suit.
The reason White hasn’t announced a location yet for the May 9 championship triple-header could be that he is waiting to see if Nevada will relax some of its COVID-19 related restrictions in time for the UFC to use its own production facility at its Las Vegas headquarters.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a stay-at-home order that included closing the State’s casinos for the first time in history. That order is currently in effect until at least April 30. Sisolak has not yet stated when the order will be terminated or at least modified. White appears to believe it will come in time for the UFC to start operating events at its APEX facility sometime in May and for the foreseeable future.
The UFC APEX is a state-of-the-art, 130,000 square-foot production facility. The building, which contains more than 50,000 square feet of production space and over 70,000 square feet of office space, has a small arena, which has already hosted Dana White’s Contender Series.
“We built the APEX facility next door just in time to save the day from this pandemic,” White said in his statement to Variety on Tuesday. “Live fights will be produced out of there starting next month and for the foreseeable future.”
White has also insisted that he has secured an island – which has been dubbed “Fight Island” – where he could hold international UFC events because of the difficulty of flying fighters from other countries into the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.
Touring the UFC APEX with Dana White
Dana White’s office at the UFC APEX
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