While the exact location is unknown, it appears we have found the state in which the UFC will hold its May 9 event.
According to MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck, the fight night, set to be called UFC 249 according to ESPN, will be taking place in Florida. Like everyone else, fighters have still been kept in the dark on the venue. They will fly into Jacksonville first before being driven to the location.
If true, the UFC will follow WWE’s lead as rumored. The WWE was deemed an “essential business” in Florida, per Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings after a ruling by Governor Ron DeSantis. Initially, WWE was not a part of the essential business section that was ordered under the shelter-in-place ruling in the state due to the coronavirus. Following a sudden change, WWE was marked under the following guidelines, according to a release of the order:
“Employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public.”
Dana White was originally planning to have events inside Tachi Palace, a Native American casino in Lemoore, California. Plans changed when the event was postponed. There were thoughts on the APEX Center in Nevada being a possible location, but the Nevada Athletic Commission has yet to lift its ban on combat sports taking place in the state.
White was adamant that the UFC would be the first sport to come back during this pandemic.
“We will be the first sport back,” White went on to say. “‘Fight Island’ is real, it is a real thing. The infrastructure is being built right now and that’s really going to happen. It will be on ESPN.”
Here is the rumored card for the event:
- Tony Ferguson v. Justin Gaethje – Interim UFC Lightweight Title
- Henry Cejudo (c) v. Dominick Cruz – UFC Bantamweight Title
- **Amanda Nunes (c) v. Felicia Spencer – UFC Featherweight Title**
- Francis Ngannou v. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Calvin Kattar v. Jeremy Stephens
- Donald Cerrone v. Anthony Pettis
- Greg Hardy v. Yorgan De Castro
- Aleksei Oleinik v. Fabricio Werdum
- Carla Esparza v. Michelle Waterson
- Ronaldo Souza v. Uriah Hall
- Niko Price v. Vicente Luque
- Bryce Mitchell v. Charles Rosa
**Nunes will no longer be competing at the event