The UFC persists and signs with the presentation of three galas in eight days in Jacksonville, Florida, starting May 9, the organization announced Friday.
The UFC intends to re-launch after postponements or cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The organization’s president, Dana White, is also planning fixtures on May 13 and 16, but without supporters in the stands.
“Only essential staff will be present at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, where the twelve fight events will be held including lightweight title battle between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje”, White said.
“The UFC is a renowned entertainment company that has presented a safe and sensible plan to use this Jacksonville location”, said the city’s mayor, Lenny Curry. We are delighted that our city is being showcased at the national level.
UFC 249 almost took place in California earlier this month, but plans were postponed on April 9 after ESPN and Disney, the UFC’s broadcast partners, lobbied to postpone the event.
I look forward to offering big fights to fans and the fighters are thrilled to be back in the arena,” said UFC boss Dana White assuring that “they and the staff will have to comply with a series of precautionary measures” namely “to undergo advanced medical examinations, temperature checks and follow social distance guidelines”.
Two more evenings fights will be held at the same venue on May 13 and 16, also behind closed doors, with only production staff.
“As we move step by step toward economic recovery, we are proud to host these UFC events,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, for whom the project is “safe and sensible.”
After drafting the idea of a private island and then failing, under pressure, to organize a fight on an Indian reservation where he allegedly circumvented the restrictive directives imposed by the State of California, Dana White pushed the door open by Florida.
Two weeks ago, Governor Ron DeSantis gave professional sport “essential service” status to his state during the coronavirus pandemic, along with hospitals, firefighters and grocers. These include “all employees of a professional sport and a national audience production, including athletes, participants, production teams, management teams, media and other personnel essential to holding such events, and only if the venue where they take place is closed to the general public”
The fight card for UFC 249 events?
Twelve events are set to run from the 9th of May, through 13-16th May. Kicking start the campaign is Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, battling for the interim lightweight title.
2016 was not the best year for Dominick Cruz after losing his title to Cody Garbrandt. Cruz now has the opportunity to redeem himself by facing the bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo to claim his title.
Two kings of the ring, Francis Ngannou and Jair Rozenstruik will battle in the main fight card for the title eliminator event.
A brief rundown of the UFC 249 events:
- Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje — Interim lightweight title
- Henry Cejudo (c) vs. Dominick Cruz — bantamweight title
- Francis Ngannou vs. Jair Rozenstruik — Heavyweights
- Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Stephens — Featherweights
- Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro — Heavyweights
- Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis — Welterweights
- Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price — Welterweights
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Aleksei Oleinik — Heavyweights
- Ronaldo Souza vs. Uriah Hall — Middleweights
- Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson — Women’s strawweights
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Charles Rosa — Featherweights
- Ryan Spann vs. Sam Alvey — Light heavyweights