By Sammy Strobel
Assistant Sports Editor
Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.), has planned to hold at least three mixed martial arts events in Florida during May. These events would be the U.F.C.’s first fights since the pandemic started.
The U.F.C. has scheduled events for May 9, 13 and 16 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. The first lineup will be a title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.
Fans won’t be allowed in the arena, and the fights will be sanctioned by the Florida State Boxing Commission.
In Florida, the director of the state’s Division of Emergency Management amended its list of essential services, adding “employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience,” to allow the U.F.C. to televise the fights.
In efforts to keep fighters safe and healthy, each fighter will be tested for COVID-19 before stepping foot on the mat.
White plans to continue televising events through June. Details have not been released.