UFC president Dana White told the Las Vegas Review-Journal early Wednesday morning that the promotion’s event planned for May 30 is “a go” to happen in Las Vegas.
Following a run of three events over an eight-day span in Jacksonville, Fla., to mark the UFC’s return to operations, White said that the promotion’s next event would be on May 30. He hoped that he would get approval to host the event at the UFC’s own in-house, state-of-the-art broadcast facility in Las Vegas, the Apex, but was prepared to take the show on the road to Arizona if Nevada faltered.
“I don’t know yet (if the Apex will be allowed), but that’s what we’re working for,” White said following UFC on ESPN 8 on Saturday, the third and final event in Jacksonville. “We’re rolling now. If we can’t get May 30 at the Apex, it’s going to be super disappointing, but we will go somewhere else.”
Asked if that somewhere else might be Arizona, whose governor declared the state open to professional sports without an audience, White replied, “That’s where I’ll go. That’s 100 percent where I’ll go.”
It would appear that he won’t have to go that route following a successful stint in Jacksonville. Only one fighter, Jacare Souza, tested positive for COVID-19 during the three-event span. Souza and his two cornermen, who also tested positive, left the premises to self-isolate and his UFC 249 bout with Uriah Hall was canceled. No other fighters suffered the same fate.
White has wanted to host events at the Apex since the coronavirus pandemic caused governments across the globe to enact restrictions in an attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He has touted the promotion’s healthy and safety record as being a key factor for what he believes is his company’s ability to navigate the constraints imposed because of the pandemic.
Despite White texting Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Adam Hill, saying, “We’re a go on the 30th,” Nevada officials have yet to endorse his message.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has not publicly stated an approval for the UFC to restart operations, nor has he yet laid out an overarching plan for professional sports in the state. The Nevada Athletic Commission, which has been empowered to allow or deny combat sports in the state, had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
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