The UFC roared back into action on the evening of May 9 with the new, rescheduled UFC 249 pay-per-view at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.
After UFC 249 the night before Mother’s Day, the UFC remained in Jacksonville on May 13 and May 16 for two UFC Fight Nights in under a week.
These three shows were the first live MMA events in nearly two months’ time in the aftermath of the sport’s hiatus due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Prior to the UFC halting competition, the last event held was on March 14. UFC on ESPN+ 28.
As would become the case with the three Jacksonville shows, UFC on ESPN+ 28 in Brasilia, Brazil took place without fans in the arena, a safety precaution taken in response to the pandemic, adhering to social distancing guidelines.
In the run-up to the new UFC 249 a week ago, the UFC had hoped to move onto Las Vegas next Saturday at the UFC Apex for another UFC Fight Night.
This card, which is going to be headlined by Tyron Woodley vs, Gilbert Burns in the UFC’s Welterweight division, has been tentatively rescheduled by one week to May 30.
Of course, the rescheduled date of May 30 is still pending a relaxation of the state of Nevada’s ban on combat sports, which went into effect on March 14 during the Brazil show.
At the outset, the ban on combat sports in Nevada was set to expire on March 25.
As of May 16, this ban still has yet to be lifted.
All hope might not be lost for the May 30 UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns card, because as of Saturday, Arizona’s ban on professional sporting events is now lifted.
The end of the moratorium on pro sports in Arizona comes thanks to an executive order signed by Gov. Doug Ducey last Tuesday, lifting his state’s stay-at-home order in the process.
As of this writing, the afternoon of May 16, it’s unknown if Nevada’s ban on combat sports is going to expire in time for Woodley vs. Burns on May 30, but with Arizona opening the door to sports, that state could be an alternate location for the event and the new UFC 250.
Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix is no stranger to holding MMA events.
More than a year ago, the venue played host to UFC on ESPN 1 on a Sunday night in February.
Phoenix was scheduled to play host to LFA 83 in March, but it was canceled due to the pandemic, as were other then-upcoming LFA shows, and as of May, no new LFA shows have been scheduled.
Only time will tell—and quickly—if the May 30 UFC Fight Night goes on in Arizona if it can’t go on in Vegas.
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