After months of uncertainty, combat sports may finally be returning to the state of Nevada.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has added a meeting to its calendar on March 27. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss plans for boxing and MMA to return to the state. Without fans in attendance, all promotions involved would have to go through COVID-19 testing, among other procedures.
The new business states the following agenda:
“Pending removal or modification of restrictions created by Declaration of Emergency Directives, request by Zuffa, LLC, (UFC) for a program permit to promote a professional mixed martial arts event, to be held on May 30 | June 6 | June 9, 2020 at UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, NV, to be televised on ESPN/ESPN+, for possible action.”
“Pending removal or modification of restrictions created by Declaration of Emergency Directives, request by Top Rank, Inc. for a program permit to promote a professional boxing event, to be held on June 9 | June 11, 2020 at MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, NV, to be televised on ESPN/ESPN+, for possible action.”
The NAC barred combat sports from the state in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The state then shut down, forcing a stay-at-home order. Meaning to reconvene on March 25, the meeting was canceled as a result of the virus. Several boxing events were postponed due to the virus while the UFC has had to move events to Florida. They were able to test COVID-19 protocols on all of their athletes and staff last week. Only Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and his corner tested positive for the virus.
Just recently, UFC President Dana White proclaimed that the UFC will be returning to Nevada on the 30th. Holding events inside its APEX Center, the main event on the 30th is expected to be Tyron Woodley v. Gilbert Burns in a welterweight bout. On June 6 the UFC was planning on having UFC 250, with the main event being Amanda Nunes defending her UFC Flyweight Title against Felicia Spencer.
After reports of Top Rank returning to action in June, Bob Arum confirmed that ESPN will be airing shows set to take place on 6/9, 6/11, and 6/13. Some of the top stars expected to be on those fight cards include Jamel Herring, Shakur Stevenson, and others.
Governor Sisolak is still currently working on collecting data from phase one of Nevada slowly opening up. If phase two is good to go, that may be a good sign for MMA and boxing.