UFC president Dana White has been adamant about being the first major sports organization to return to regularly scheduled events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fight promotion as had to postpone four events due to the coronavirus: UFC on ESPN+ 29 on March 21, UFC on ESPN 8 on March 28, UFC on ESPN+ 30 on April 11, and UFC 249 on April 18. It also appears that UFC on ESPN+ 31 on April 25 and UFC on ESPN+ 32 on May 2 will not take place as planned.
White told ESPN on Tuesday that he’s targeting May 9 as the date for the promotion’s return at a location yet to be determined. UFC 250 was scheduled to take place on May 9 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event will not take place in Rio.
Instead, the UFC’s next event will likely take place on “Fight Island” or in Florida, where professional sporting events are deemed “essential services” and are allowed “if the location is closed to the general public.”
With a date in mind, White revealed that the company is working to put together the fight card. The event will combine bouts that were scheduled to take place on April 18 and bouts that were slated for the UFC 250 event, among others.
White has yet to announce what the naming of the May 9 event will be. Though it is likely to be a pay-per-view offering, it’s unknown if it will be called UFC 249 or UFC 250 or something else altogether.
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UFC May 9 proposed fight card:
- Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje (interim lightweight title bout)
- Henry Cejudo (c) vs. Dominick Cruz (bantamweight title bout)
- Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Felicia Spencer (women’s featherweight title bout)
- Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar
- Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis
- Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro
- Alexei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum
- Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Uriah Hall
- Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
- Charles Rosa vs. Bryce Mitchell