Expect May to be a very busy month for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which has a lot of ground to cover after missing part of March and all of April. And while the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep
Khabib Nurmagomedov the world locked down, the state of Florida has deemed mixed martial arts (MMA) an “essential business.”
UFC will make its “very expensive” return to pay-per-view (PPV) with UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” on Sat., May 9 inside Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, then come roaring back on Weds., May 13 and Sat., May 16 for live cards on ESPN+, though it should be noted that all three events will be closed to the public and produced with minimal staff.
“Florida welcomes UFC to the Sunshine State, and our commission stands ready to sanction the events to be held on May 9, 13, and 16,” said Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director, Patrick Cunningham. “Health and safety protocols will be in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all individuals who are helping to make these events possible.”
A fourth event is in the works for May 23, according to UFC President Dana White.
In addition to the Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje main event, contested for the interim lightweight title, reigning bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo will make his very first title defense at UFC 249 against ex-division kingpin, Dominick Cruz. In addition, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone will rematch at 170 pounds.
“I can’t wait to deliver some great fights for the fans,“ said UFC President Dana White. “I want to give a big thanks to Mayor Curry, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and Florida State Boxing Commission Executive Director Patrick Cunningham for getting this thing done and giving us a venue to put on these incredible cards, as well our media partners including ESPN and ESPN+, for bringing it to fans. My team is ready to go and the fighters are excited to get back in there with these back-to-back events.”
For the latest UFC 249 fight card and line up click here.