Now that the world is returning to some sense of normalcy after 1.5 years of strict COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, several states throughout the nation are starting to open and getting back to business as usual.
As a result, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is broadening its horizons and no longer restricted to staging events only in Las Vegas, Nevada, and on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. In fact, the promotion staged UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Fla., in April and UFC 262 in Houston, Texas, earlier this month, both in sold-out arenas full of fight fans.
And as more people get vaccinated and restrictions are lifted, Dana White and Co. plan on taking the show to other states. Speaking to Bleacher Report’s Tom Taylor, White revealed a couple of locations that are on his radar for future pay-per-view (PPV) events.
“We’re sort of kicking things around,” White said. “I think I told you guys at the last press conference, I’m going to keep the Fight Nights here at the Apex in Las Vegas, and we’re looking at new places to open up for pay-per-views.
“In September, I’m looking at Boston, Dallas, Anaheim, Fort Lauderdale, Newark — places like that,” he continued. “I don’t know what’s going to open up or what’s going to work or fit for us, but we’ll see.”
While fans were allowed in the arena at UFC 261 and UFC 262, there are currently no plans in place to let them in at the Apex in Las Vegas. As far as Dallas and Fort Lauderdale are concerned, those cities will have no problem letting fans pack arenas for events, which is good for UFC’s bottom line.
When the promotion makes its return to T-Mobile Arena in “Sin City,” that venue will also be packed because UFC 264 — which features a trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier — sold out in record fashion. Before then, UFC 263 will take place in Glendale, Ariz., on June 12, 2021, featuring a championship doubleheader with Israel Adesanya defending his Middleweight title against Marvin Vettori, and Deiveson Figueiredo defending his Flyweight belt against Brandon Moreno a second time.
Also on the card, Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards will collide in a five-round Welterweight affair.
In August, the promotion plans to return to Houston once more with UFC 265, which will possibly feature a championship doubleheader with a Heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis leading the way. Co-headlining that event will be a women’s Bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena.