UFC 261 will not be held behind closed doors.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, the UFC has mostly been holding events inside the UFC APEX with no fans in attendance. The exceptions have been the Howler Head contest winners and trips to Abu Dhabi where fans were allowed at a reduced capacity.
The UFC will be back in the business of full crowds soon. On April 24, UFC 261 will emanate from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. This event will be held at full capacity, so 15,000 fans are expected to attend.
In the main event of UFC 261, UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman will put his gold on the line against Jorge Masvidal in a rematch. The co-headliner will see Valentina Shevchenko defend her women’s flyweight gold against Jessica Andrade. Also set for the main card is a strawweight title clash between champion Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas.
Here’s what UFC President Dana White had to say during the UFC 261 announcement.
— danawhite (@danawhite) March 16, 2021
“I have been waiting a year for this day to tell you, we are back. UFC 261 on April 24th will be in Jacksonville, Florida with a full house of fans. Full capacity at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. And you know I’m bringing an incredible card.
“We have three titles fights. The welterweight championship, Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2. The women’s flyweight championship, Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade. And the fight everybody has been waiting for, the women’s strawweight championship, Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas.”
Here’s a look at the UFC 261 card so far.
UFC 261 Card (In Progress)
Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal
Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade
Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
Jimmy Crute vs. Anthony Smith
Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad
Brendan Allen vs. Karl Roberson
Qileng Aori vs. Jeffrey Molina
Johnny Munoz vs. Mark Striegl