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Dana White: COVID face masks optional for UFC 261 in Jacksonville — ‘It’s your decision’

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Those who do choose to wear one, can score a freebie at the door from O2 Industries.

UFC Fight Night Ortega v The Korean Zombie: Weigh-Ins Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to welcome fans back to live events starting with the UFC 261: “Usman vs. Masvidal 2” pay-per-view (PPV) card this Sat. night (April 24, 2021) inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

This marks the first UFC event not staged inside a special COVID safety bubble, which promotion president Dana White constructed for the “crazy” media. But that doesn’t mean fight fans will be forced to wear a face mask because hey, this is Florida!

“We had to create a bubble so that athletes wouldn't end up with COVID and all these fights falling out, but the media was being so crazy about the whole COVID thing you had to make the media feel safe,” White told Yahoo Sports. “In Jacksonville, everything is opening up again, even Vegas is gonna be open June 1st. There’s some things that are gonna be set in place, we’re still gonna have a bubble for the athletes and things like that but as far as the fans, you wear a mask or do not wear a mask. It’s up to you, it’s your decision.”

I seem to remember one of the promotion’s brightest young stars, Khamzat Chimaev, nearly retiring from combat sports after a bout with coronavirus that was so severe, “Borz” was coughing up blood, I’m not sure we can blame that on the “crazy” media.

Fans who did buy tickets for UFC 261 will be required to use “Health Pass” by CLEAR, according to a recent press release. Attendees will fill out a brief questionnaire and likely be subjected to a temperature check upon entry, regardless of vaccination status.

To see the UFC 261 fight card and PPV lineup click here.