The UFC reportedly wants to return to action next month despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to multiple reports, the promotion is eyeing May 9 as a potential return date after the cancellation and postponement of four events in March and April.
In a report by ESPN, UFC president Dana White said he is in the process of putting together a card for May 9, which previously was the date for UFC 250 in Brazil. White said the card no longer would be held in Brazil, but he did not say where the it would take place. According to MMA Fighting, two people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans said the event could happen in the United States, with one listing California, Texas and Florida as potential sites.
The UFC was among the last U.S. sports organizations willing to postpone events amid the COVID-19 crisis. It took until last Thursday for White to cancel UFC 249, which was originally scheduled for this Saturday at Barclays Center but was later moved to tribal land in California outside the jurisdiction of state athletic commissions. White was convinced to stop the event by “the powers that be” at Disney and ESPN, the UFC’s broadcast partner.
According to the ESPN report, the new May 9 event will be headlined by an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje originally slated for the re-worked UFC 249 card. A bantamweight title fight between champion Henry Cejudo and former champ Dominick Cruz also is in the works, as well as a women's featherweight bout between Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer.
Here's a look at the proposed fight card as reported by ESPN:
- Ferguson vs. Gaethje
- Cejudo vs. Cruz
- Nunes vs. Spencer
- Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar
- Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis
- Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro
- Alexei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum
- Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson
- Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Uriah Hall
- Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
- Charles Rosa vs. Bryce Mitchell