As the UFC continues to host events, the promotion is looking to head back to Nevada. If the Nevada Athletic Commission can agree on lifting the ban on combat sports, Dana White will be able to promote the UFC’s APEX Center as the new destination for fights. To convince the commission, the UFC needs to update their protocols for COVID-19 testing.
The UFC held three events in Jacksonville, Florida recently, with guidelines on social distancing and coronavirus testing. They added some guidelines to go above and beyond the Florida Athletic Commission’s requests. In the hope the UFC will return to Nevada, the organization has set up the following for fighters and their camps:
Via MMA Junkie, All athletes and their corners must undergo the same testing (antibody and COVID test) when they arrive as done in Florida. This time, however, fighters are meant to self- isolate and not have any interaction with anyone outside of their team. That includes staying inside the hotel at all times until the test results come back. Those who test negative can continue their preparation, but those who test positive must remain in their rooms and wait for advice from the UFC’s medical team.
There will also be a second test. Following weigh-ins, Another test for COVID-19 will be performed, with self-isolating once again a priority. The only time they can leave their room (if they don’t test positive) is by leaving directly for the UFC’s APEX Center. No fighters are allowed to have contact with anyone outside their team.
It appears the Nevada State Athletic Commission will be enforcing these rules as well. The initial blueprint for the UFC’s return to action a few weeks ago (besides testing) featured separate workout rooms, while meals would be going to the room of the athletes.
The idea behind stricter protocols comes after Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and his camp tested positive for the virus before fight night. It was later revealed that he was mingling with fighters competing on the card and not maintaining social distancing. This is after he said he was with a family member who was sick with the virus.
The UFC is hopeful that the protocols will be put to good use and the NAC lifts the ban. There is a planned event this Saturday, May 30 meant to take place inside the APEX Center. UFC on ESPN 9 features Tyron Woodley v. Gilbert Burns in a welterweight bout.