The Nevada State Athletic Commission opened its state for combat sports promoters to begin operating events without a live audience.

This means that the UFC’s requests to hold events on May 30 June 6 at its Apex facility in Las Vegas have been approved.

“We’ve been working hand in glove with the UFC,” NSAC executive director Bob Bennett said of the UFC’s request to begin holding events. “I’m aware of their operations plan and everything has been moving ahead (in accordance) with their operation plan and our protocols.”

Prior to approving the UFC’s events on May 30 and June 6, the athletic commission approved its own COVID-19 protocols, though it did not discuss the details of the protocols during the meeting. The commission unanimously approved its COVID-19 protocols and the UFC’s request for events.

UFC set the blueprint for sports to safely operate during the pandemic

The UFC has already begun operations with three events over an eight-day span in Jacksonville, Fla., which it operated under its own operation plan, which Bennett referenced. The three UFC events in Florida provided a sort of blueprint for Nevada and for other sports to follow, as three individuals tested positive for COVID-19 during that eight-day span, all three of which were identified and removed from the premises prior to any fights taking place.

Thus far, there have been no public notifications of any other positive COVID-19 test results related to the UFC events in Florida, from which there were more than 1100 coronavirus related tests processed according to UFC president Dana White.

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UFC plans two events in the next two weeks in Las Vegas

The UFC returns to action at its state-of-the-art broadcast facility, the Apex, with UFC on ESPN 9, which takes place on Saturday. The fight card is topped by former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who squares off with rising contender Gilbert Burns.

The June 6 event is UFC 250, which was originally slated for May 9 in Brazil. The event was nixed for Brazil when the world went into shutdown mode to try and stem the spread of the novel coronavirus and the Brazilian government designated the arena at which UFC 250 would be held as a temporary field hospital.

UFC 250 is set to feature dual-division champion Amanda Nunes putting her featherweight belt on the line for the first time since defeating Cris Cyborg to become champion on Dec. 29, 2018. Nunes will defend her title against former Invicta FC champion Felicia Spencer on June 6.

Dana White addresses COVID-19, returning to Las Vegas, and Fight Island

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