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UFC to use 25-foot Octagon (not 30) for all APEX events, starting with UFC on ESPN 9

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Dana White’s Contender Series - Season 3 Week 6 Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC/Zuffa LLC

After a weekend off from staging three events in the span of eight days, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is right back at it this Saturday (May 30, 2020) with UFC on ESPN 9, set to go down inside the APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

But the scene will be just a tad bit different, as the promotion will use a 25-foot cage instead of the usual one, which measures at 30 feet. MMA Junkie’s John Morgan has the inside scoop.

The promotion has often used the smaller Octagon for shows held inside The Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort and other smaller venues. Furthermore, the smaller sized cage is one that is currently in place at the APEX for the “Contender Series.”

Of course, close quarters like that offers many advantages for certain styles of fighting and leads to a bit more action as opposed to competing in a bigger cage, which allows combatants more room to move back and evade. According to this report, smaller cages result in more finishes, as fighters throw 20-percent more strikes.

Fighters such as Tim Kennedy and Ben Rothwell have praised the use of a smaller Octagon in the past, as “Big Ben” said he feels more at home, while Kennedy was glad he didn’t have to chase down his opponent. Others like Matt Mitrione, though, prefer more room to work with.

UFC on ESPN 9 will feature a Welterweight showdown between former division king, Tyron Woodley, taking on Gilbert Burns. In the co-main event, Blagoy Ivanov takes on Augusto Sakai in Heavyweight action.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 9 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then remaining main card portion that will air on ESPN/ESPN+ proper at 9 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC on ESPN 9: “Woodley vs. Burns” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.