While the UFC is hoping it can stage events in 2020, the company understands that changes need to be made as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The promotion announced that two events have been cancelled while two others have been moved to another time.
Via a press release, the UFC has cancelled UFC Lincoln, set to take place on April 25. Dana White and company have also taken away UFC Oklahoma City, set to take place on May 2. Additionally, UFC 250 on May 9 as well as UFC San Diego on May 16 have been postponed for the time being. Fans will be able to receive full refunds for all events if interested.
This is a much different approach to the situation for the UFC compared to the past few weeks. Fans have been promised that events will take place, despite the current situation. The UFC had to postpone three events just a few weeks ago. After almost going through with UFC 249, which was meant to feature Khabib Nurmagomedov v. Tony Ferguson, outside forces (government officials talking with Disney) forced them to postpone it.
The status of UFC 250 is something to look into, if only for future plans. Originally set to take place inside Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, the area is being used as a hospital for coronavirus patients. Dana has since stated that an event will take place on May 9 from an undisclosed location. The UFC is hoping for the APEX Center in Las Vegas for that and future events, but the Nevada Athletic Commission has not released its hold on barring combat sports in the area.
As far as future events go, Dana is adamant that “Fight Island” will eventually happen.
UFC Lincoln was set to feature Anthony Smith v. Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight bout. The event in Oklahoma City was supposed to feature Chris Weidman’s middleweight return against Jack Hermansson. Hermansson ended up backing out of the event due to travel restrictions.
Two bouts for UFC 250 that were moved to the stacked May 9 card included Henry Cejudo defending his UFC Bantamweight Title against Jose Aldo (now rumored to be Dominick Cruz), and Amanda Nunes defending her UFC Featherweight Title against Felicia Spencer. Rumored for UFC San Diego was Dan Hooker v. Dustin Poirier.
Just recently, Nunes pulled out of the May 9 card, citing a lack of training camp due to gyms being closed as a reason. The UFC is looking for alternatives for that fight. Besides the APEX Center, the UFC is also looking into hosting events in Florida.