Some of the top major combat sports promotions are coming back home.
The Nevada Athletic Commission met this week to discuss the future of combat sports in the state. This came after a ban on boxing and MMA, among others in March. For the first time in two months, the commission met and unanimously approved the UFC and Top Rank to produce events without a live audience. Proper COVID-19 testing protocols were also approved.
Along with future events, the following dates have been approved by the NAC:
- UFC: May 30 | June 6 | June 9, 2020
- Top Rank: June 9 | June 11, 2020
Bob Bennett, NSAC Executive Director, stated that the commission will be working “hand in glove” with the UFC when it comes to protocol formulation. Top Rank is already working with the commission, as the promotion opened up its gym, something that has been sanitized daily.
The UFC has been waiting for approval to hold UFC on ESPN 9 inside its APEX Center. The main event of that card is a welterweight bout featuring Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns. The company’s next event (June 6) would be UFC 250, featuring Amanda Nunes defending the UFC Featherweight Title against Felicia Spencer.
Additionally, the UFC enforced new COVID-19 protocols before the ruling. The 25-page plan includes staying isolated before a second test is conducted. This is to get results early before fight night. A few weeks ago, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and his camp tested positive for the virus before his fight, with concerns over the safety of everyone involved a big factor.
Top Rank has been scheduling multiple events for June. Shakur Stevenson is expected to headline the June 9 show, which could take place inside an MGM property.
This is the first step of Governor Steve Sisolak’s plan to drop restrictions on the state due to the coronavirus. Phase two would require gyms to open, among other venues. That could help fighters who train in Nevada to have better opportunities to prepare for fights. Sisolak was adamant that fans will still not be allowed to be inside the arenas.