This is the moment UFC fans have been waiting for.
Dana White will likely hold UFC 250 in Florida after governor Ron DeSantis deemed professional sports events as “essential services” which could be held even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is welcome news for fight fans who missed a chance to see a blockbuster bout between UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. Nurmagomedov is stuck in Russia because of the lockdown.
The Florida memo from the governor stated: “Employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience—including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production—only if the location is closed to the general public.”
WWE was quick to take advantage of the directive and aired a live episode of its weekly series “Raw” from its Orlando production facility last weekend. Other professional sports leagues, especially the UFC, could follow suit.
The UFC card is slated to be headlined by Ferguson fighting Justin Gaethje.
Also being targeted to fight are Henry Cejudo against Dominick Cruz, Amanda Nuñez against Felicia Hardy, Francis Ngannou against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Jeremy Stephens against Calvin Kattar, Greg Hardy against Yorgan de Castro and Carla Esparza against Michelle Waterson.
White was poised to hold UFC 249 without fans on April 18 at a Native American tribal reservation in California. The move initially met with resistance from California Senator Dianne Feinstein and was eventually cancelled at the request of broadcaster ESPN.