A month ago, when all other major sporting leagues suspended competition indefinitely over the COVID-19 pandemic, UFC president Dana White insisted that it would be business as usual for the promotion. UFC 249 – one of the most highly anticipated pay-per-view events in history – was not called off until just over a week before the targeted event date of April 18th.
However, with its postponement came the indefinite postponement of all subsequent fight cards. Nonetheless, White does not want to wait too long, and is eyeing a May 9th return for the UFC, although the location for such an event is yet to be determined.
MMA Fighting reported these plans, citing anonymous sources. The UFC has not yet made any official announcement regarding this.
There is speculation as to where the UFC can hold events. White previously alluded to plans to purchase a private “fight island.” Tachi Palace Casino in Lemore, California, is another option; this was the venue in which they had planned to hold UFC 249 before it fell through. And Florida governor Ron DeSantis has deemed some sporting events as essential businesses, which opens the door for future events in Florida.
In any case, White insists that the UFC will be the first major sporting organization in the US to return. “We will be the first sport back,” White said.
It is unknown how plausible any of these plans are; however, given the unprecedented situation, it may serve us well to temper our hopes.