UFC president Dana White has stated that the promotion’s next event may be as little as three weeks away.
Speaking to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, White announced that the UFC is targeting a May 9 return at an undisclosed location. A later report by Nolan King of MMA Junkie highlighted that although some fighters on the planned fight card had not received official confirmation from the UFC regarding the event, they were aware that the UFC had ambitions to host an event in the coming weeks.
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Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje is expected to feature as the main event of the new-look fight card for May 9.
The promotion is targeting another two title fights, including the previously announced UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz.
UFC women’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes is also expected to defend her title against Felicia Spencer.
BREAKING: UFC president Dana White says the company has turned its focus to hosting its next event on May 9 at a location TBD. He remains adamant the company will get back on schedule, and barring outside factors, intends to hold a card on May 9. **Targeted matchups** include … pic.twitter.com/HBcqC8SmH7
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 14, 2020
The UFC is just one of many major sporting organizations that have been significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The pandemic has led to the shutdown of countless businesses and sporting organizations in the United States and elsewhere around the world.
On April 3, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) canceled plans for all combat sports events through May.
The event would have likely proceeded if it wasn’t for Disney and ESPN executives asking White to halt plans.
“I was ready to go on Saturday, but Disney and ESPN asked me to step down,” White told ESPN. “The powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday.
The UFC has not commented on a potential location for the May 9 event.
Targeted fight card for May 9
- Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje
- Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz
- Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer
- Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar
- Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis
- Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro
- Alexei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum
- Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson
- Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza vs. Uriah Hall
- Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
- Charles Rosa vs. Bryce Mitchell
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.